Thursday, May 31, 2012

{Review} ORDINARY MAGIC by Caitlen Rubino-Bradway


O P E N I N G   H O O K:


THE DAY OF MY JUDGING DAWNED BRIGHT AND clear and hot.  It was searing; the air pressed against my chest with each breath.  It was Olivia's turn to look after me (to make sure my dresser cast up the right clothes, that food appeared on the table, and that the hundreds of everyday things that needed doing when you were underage got done) and with all the craziness going on, no one noticed her smuggling me up to the upstairs bathroom. 
(pg. 1, US hardcover 1st edition)

Also check out yesterday's guest post with author Caitlen Rubino-Bradway on World Building and stop back tomorrow for an awesome interview with cover designer Donna Mark!



ORDINARY MAGIC may be a middle-grade novel, but it's super-easy to sink into and get immersed in.  Interestingly, the novel was original aiming to be for teens, but was reworked as MG.  Caitlen Rubino-Bradway's voice is fresh and will pull readers along for the ride.  I loved the way the main character, Abby, narrated, and felt the voice was lively and amusing.  Her world building is also innovative; if you missed yesterday's guest post featuring how she put everything together, check it out now because you're in for a treat!

The world of ORDINARY MAGIC turns everything we think we know upside-down and inside-out, creating a topsy-turvy world where magic is part of everyday life.  Simple things such as turning on the shower, cooking breakfast, and opening up a dresser to get dressed in the morning are made easy with magic.  When citizens turn twelve, they undergo Judging to determine how powerful their magical abilities are.  This in turn determines where they go to school.  If they're really powerful, they'll go to schools the equivalent of Harvard, Oxford, etc.

As the novel opens, Abby is really excited about going to her Judging.  Unfortunately, she's declared an "Ord," an ordinary person without a lick of magic.  Ords are often treated unfairly and sold or stolen; they often die young.  Treasure hunters often want them because Ords can walk through magical traps unaffected.  Ords are also able to walk into banks and people's houses in order to rob them because they're unaffected by the spells that keep everyone else out, so they're also considered dangerous.  As soon as Abby is labeled an Ord, she's discriminated against.  She's kicked out of school and her town advertises her availability to treasure hunters.  Her family, however, refuses to give her over to a harsher lifestyle and sends her away to a school designed exclusively for Ordinary citizens, one that's hidden away and seldom heard about.  Once there, Abby finds herself adjusting to life in new ways, while still managing to have her own adventures.

One of my favorite aspects of ORDINARY MAGIC (aside from Rubino-Bradway's amazing use of voice) is the way she showcases the family unit.  There are so few books out there with a strong, caring family unit.  The Hale family really reminds me of the Weasley family from the HARRY POTTER series.  Everyone's close-knit and genuinely cares about one another.  I loved seeing such a positive message in the novel.  I also liked the way the book looked at prejudices and showcased one pre-teen's journey to accepting her differences and finding ways to fit in and belong.  This book is great on so many levels, and there are so many interesting characters that readers will encounter in Abby's world.  I'm really hoping that Rubino-Bradway and Bloomsbury grant us a sequel!


~*~
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

I am so incredibly excited to be sharing an interview with cover designer Donna Mark tomorrow because I LOVE THIS COVER.  


I really like the illustrations and the way the school is featured in the background. The school has a unique character in and of itself. I also like the way the trees are twisting, the ground the girl is standing upon, the way she looks like an academic. I'm loving the birds in the background and the way the sky seems full of magic and light, highlighting this magic-less girl.  


From the moment I saw this book's cover on Netgalley to seeing the awesome synopsis, I knew this was a book I really wanted to read!  Bloomsbury puts out a ton of amazing novels, too, so I always know I'm in for a good time when I see this publisher attached!

  ~*~
O F F I C I A L   I N F O:


Title: ORDINARY MAGIC
Author: Caitlen Rubino-Bradway
Release Date: Out May 08, 2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Received: Received for Review

SUMMARY:

In Abby’s world, magic isn’t anything special: it’s a part of everyday life. So when Abby learns that she has zero magical abilities, she’s branded an “Ord”—ordinary, bad luck, and quite possibly a danger to society.


The outlook for kids like Abby isn’t bright. Many are cast out by their families, while others are sold to treasure hunters (ordinary kids are impervious to spells and enchantments). Luckily for Abby, her family enrolls her in a school that teaches ordinary kids how to get around in a magical world. But with treasure-hunting kidnappers and carnivorous goblins lurking around every corner, Abby’s biggest problem may not be learning how to be ordinary—it’s whether or not she’s going to survive the school year!

Great Bargain Sale at Amazon.com!

Do you love a great deal?  I know I do!  I'm constantly trolling Amazon's Bargain Books for great deals, and there are a LOT of awesome titles being featured right now.

Want some examples?


Four books at a great price that I love a lot are:

(Click each book title to get to the deal on Amazon!  I am NOT an affiliate, so there's nothing special in the links, no worries!)



THE MOCKINGBIRDS by Daisy Whitney

Hardcover.  Originally $16.99, on sale for $6.80!

{Here is my review and, for good measure, a review of Daisy's second book, THE RIVALS.  Daisy Whitney is seriously a contemporary favorite of mine!

I think one reason I love this so much is because one of my favorite classics is TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee, which Daisy Whitney heavily incorporates into THE MOCKINGBIRDS.  I loved it!  LOVED!}



MISTWOOD by Leah Cypess


Hardcover.  Originally $16.99, on sale for $6.80!

{Okay, so I never got around to reviewing MISTWOOD, but I've read it twice, and, um, that should be motivation enough for you!  I also participated in Leah's NIGHTSPELL Blog Tour last year and had her back on the blog last month for a guest post.  If you like high fantasy and authors such as Kristin Cashore and Alexandra Bracken, you'll enjoy this as well!}


POSSESSION by Elana Johnson

Hardcover.  Originally $17.99, on sale for $7.20!

{This is another one I never got around to reviewing. ;_;  POSSESSION is so good, too!  I was originally going to do a special event with the post, then it fell through, then we were going to do something on Deliriously Falling and, er, that fell through, too...  If you like dystopians, you'll want to read this one!  Plus, this is the original cover...and it's SHIMMERY!!

Simon & Schuster Pulse was kind enough to send me an ARC of SURRENDER, so I'm planning to re-read POSSESSION and read SURRENDER this weekend or next week!  I also still have some autographed bookmark swag, so there will be a giveaway soon!}


RED GLOVE by Holly Black

Hardcover.  Originally $17.99, on sale for $7.20

{Yet another book I read, enjoyed, and didn't review!  I think I read this one during Fairy Tale Fortnight or Splash into Summer last year and just didn't get around to it!  I picked up BLACK HEART from the library last week, though, and will be buying RED GLOVE next week now that it's in paperback [because my copies MUST match even if the covers are different now...], so you should read it, too!}

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Guest Post: World Building with ORDINARY MAGIC's Caitlen Rubino-Bradway



Caitlen Rubino-Bradway holds a BA in English Literature and an MA in Publishing from Rosemont College. While in college, she interned with LeFrak Productions, Tor, and Jane Dystel Literary. She currently lives and works in New York City, where she has attended the Monday "day after" dissections, sponsored by the Jane Austen Society of North America, of the most recent series of Austen teleplays.

While ORDINARY MAGIC is Caitlen's debut middle-grade novel, she has also co-written LADY VERNON AND HER DAUGHTER: A Jane Austen Novel as well as a short story appearing in JANE AUSTEN MADE ME DO IT: Original Stories Inspired by Literature's Most Astute Observer of the Human Heart with her mother, Jane Rubino.




~*~

Like today's author guest post? Stop back over the next two days for an interview with ORDINARY MAGIC cover designer Donna Mark and my review of this fun novel!

Caitlen Rubino-Bradway:
World Building

Jane Rubino on the left with
Caitlen Rubino-Bradway
Photography courtesy of the authors
One of the things I worry most about with ORDINARY MAGIC is the world building. It was definitely one of the most difficult and time-consuming things about writing the book, along with the…um, everything else. I like how it turned out, but then again I’m not exactly an unbiased opinion.


I think world building is one of the trickiest things about writing fantasy. When done well, it can be as memorable as the characters or story itself — a great fantasy world can almost become a character in its own right. I’m thinking specifically of Terry Pratchett’s DISCWORLD, which reads so real I will only believe it’s not when I receive irrefutable proof (and maybe not even then). Of course there’s also HARRY POTTER, which, I’d like to think, has made everybody keep a close eye on the barriers at their local train station. As a writer, I can only hope to aspire to that, but it’s up to my readers to let me know if I succeeded.


Abby’s world started off with couple of things. First and foremost was her voice. I started off by writing just a few scenes and moments from Abby’s pov, just wanted to get the feel of her, and realized very quickly that this wasn’t an epic fantasy kind of voice. Abby sounded and thought like a modern kid, so I knew that her world should feel very modern.


While I was thinking this, there was also an Arthur C. Clarke quote rattling around in my head. The last of his Three Laws (as stated in his HAZARDS OF PROPHECY essay) is that “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” While it’s probably not what he meant, I started thinking about the reverse — that magic, at a certain point, would be indistinguishable from technology. So you can have a very current, contemporary-feeling world, and still have it run on magic. (If that makes sense.) That’s what I tried to go with.


Then, in one of those moments when the clouds part and the sun shines down on the path you’re meant to go, I found Patricia Wrede’s world building questions on the SFWA website. It’s an exhaustive list of questions, designed to help you figure out how your world works and what’s going on. While there were a few questions I could skip over because they just didn’t apply, so many others were about things I hadn’t considered, and as a whole they were absolutely invaluable. I spent days answering all the questions in as much detail as possible, even if it was something that didn’t affect the story and never made it into the book. Because if it ever came up, I would know.


Of course, the opposite side of that, and the thing I had a lot of trouble with, is that lots of stuff never came up. The most difficult thing I had in building Abby’s world is that I was telling it from Abby’s point of view. Now, Abby's just about my favorite character so far, and I loved writing her story, but she’s coming from an insider’s pov, and there’s a lot of stuff about her world that she takes for granted. It took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out that her dad wove magic carpets because to her that was just something her dad did. It was obvious, so why should she mention it? As a writer, I love it when things like that pop up as I’m writing, but as a re-writer and an editor (which both happen at the same time) I then have to go back and work it. It was something my actual, professional, and much wiser editor has called me on, and something I needed to work on — a lot — in the revision stage.


However, for all of the long, eye-straining hours wondering about what the major agricultural export of the Astrin Islands is (it’s pineapple), I’m really happy with how the world turned out. And who knows what more I’ll learn if there’s a sequel.




Caitlen, thank you so much for joining us today!  I adored ORDINARY MAGIC.  I loved your voice and the superb world-building!  Thank you especially for sharing Patricia Wrede's world building questions with us.  I printed them out recently myself in preparation for a fantasy I'm about to begin writing! ^_^


Bookworms, stop back over the next two days for more ORDINARY MAGIC fun!

WoW: THE CROWN OF EMBERS and THE SHADOWS CATS, both by Rae Carson!



Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine. This event highlights our most-wanted upcoming releases!

Title: THE CROWN OF EMBERS
Author: Rae Carson
Release Date: Sept. 18, 2012
Publisher: Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins

 

WHY?

If you've already read Rae Carson's debut novel, THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS, you already know exactly why I want this sequel.

If you have yet to treat yourself to reading this, do so now!

Rae Carson can WRITE.  If you like sweeping epic fantasy that breaks the norms from a slightly overweight heroine to a feeling of "OMG, I can't believe Rae Carson actually WENT THERE," combined with a firm handle on description that will have you drooling over the very food in the world, this is a series for you.

And of course, because I want to read this, I also obviously want to read SHADOW CATS, a prequel novella I just heard about today coming in July from Carson to tide us all over!


Title: THE SHADOW CATS
Author: Rae Carson

Release Date: July 17, 2012
Publisher: Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins

 



SUMMARY: 


"Carson joins the ranks of writers like Kristin Cashore, Megan Whalen Turner, and Tamora Pierce as one of YA's best writers of high fantasy."-Locus Magazine

In the sequel to the acclaimed THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS, a seventeen-year-old princess turned war queen faces sorcery, adventure, untold power, and romance as she fulfills her epic destiny.

Elisa is the hero of her country. She led her people to victory against a terrifying enemy, and now she is their queen. But she is only seventeen years old. Her rivals may have simply retreated, choosing stealth over battle. And no one within her court trusts her-except Hector, the commander of the royal guard, and her companions. As the country begins to crumble beneath her and her enemies emerge from the shadows, Elisa will take another journey. With a one-eyed warrior, a loyal friend, an enemy defector, and the man she is falling in love with, Elisa crosses the ocean in search of the perilous, uncharted, and mythical source of the Godstone's power. That is not all she finds. A breathtaking, romantic, and dangerous second volume in the Fire and Thorns trilogy.


What are you anxiously waiting for this Wednesday?

Monday, May 28, 2012

Disney's Next Animated Movie? FROZEN, Based on THE SNOW QUEEN!

I am so super extremely incredibly excited right now, y'all!!!!!!

THE SNOW QUEEN is one of my favorite fairy tales EVER.  Ever, ever, ever.

And I loooove when Disney does fairy tales.  And musicals.  And animated movies.

I was devastated when they stopped doing musicals, then again when they mentioned that they were done with fairy tales right before TANGLED came out and made mad amounts of money.

I was looking online to see whatever happened to Idina Menzel's proposed musical TV series with a GILMORE GIRLS-esque feel on IMDB when I saw her mentioned as The Snow Queen.  "Huh," I thought, clicking the link.  I was actually expecting to see a live-action movie similar to SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN.
Early concept art for Disney's
THE SNOW QUEEN, now
entitled FROZEN.  I wonder
what the final artwork will entail!?

I was SHOCKED to see that it was going to be an animated movie.  I hurried to see if it was Disney putting it out because I've known that Alan Menken has been working on THE SNOW QUEEN for a few years now.

Ahh, and Disney IS doing it.  And if they're really casting Idina Menzel (Broadway babies may know her as originating the roles of Maureen in RENT [Yes, she was also her in the movie version] and Elphaba in WICKED, while GLEE fans will know her as Shelby, aka "Rachel's Mom.") and Kristen Bell, who you know as an actor, but perhaps might not realize is also a singer, well...........this is another Disney musical!

It looks like news broke in December that this was going to be Disney's Winter Holiday 2013 film, but I never saw it.  I wasn't even looking for it, because everyone--even Alan Menken--said that THE SNOW QUEEN was dead in the water.  It was originally commissioned to be part of a show at the Tokyo DisneySea theme park, which never happened.  I've been hoping to see it hit the silver screen in animation and was downtrodden when I heard that it had been shelved.

This news has me sooooooooooooooooooooooooo excited!

It's an animated Disney fairy tale musical, and a favorite to boot!


Ahhh, is it 2013 yet? [Though I shouldn't wish my life away, should I?  Next month, I have both SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN and Disney/Pixar's BRAVE to tide me over.  But oh....!]

Friday, May 25, 2012

Mad About Nails: OPI's AMAZING SPIDER-MAN Line

 
Welcome to my brand-new feature!  I've had quite a few people comment on my nails in the past month and ask what I was using or wish I'd done a close-up so they could see better, etc., etc.  So recently when I was in NYC and some book bloggers were commenting on my nails, I had a realization:  Why not do a feature on nail polish?  It's not book-related (Unless you're wearing the new HUNGER GAMES-inspired line from China Glaze, but I'm not even going into how wrong that is...), but it's fun.  Plus, if I do this feature, I'll be more likely to re-paint my nails this week and less likely to let them chip their way to the bare bones (which would mean that I could see my nails...and if I see them, I want to bite them!).  What do you think?  I think I'm officially toeing the "too crazy" line now...






I bought the above nail polish haul on Tuesday, brought it all home, and promptly painted my nails.  I took the following picture this morning.


This week I'm wearing a two-layered base coat of "Your Web or Mine?" from OPI's THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN collection and a top coat of "Shatter the Scales" from the same collection.  I topped it all off with OPI RapiDry Top Coat.

All of my nails broke a couple of weeks ago, which made me really annoyed, because they'd finally begun growing out  nicely.  Sorry for showing you such short, stubby fingers!!  Plus, I rubbed my index finger against something and tore off all the polish, so I just repainted it and a bit of the polish is on my finger. ^^;;  And since I'm right handed, I usually take a picture of my left hand, but the shatter on my left hand sucks, so it's not the most focused picture.  The next still shot will come out better ^_^


I bought some new nail polish this week, too.  I showcase it all in the above video.

From Target, I purchased Sally Hansen Magnetic Nail Color in "Graphite Gravity."  It's on sale through tomorrow, Saturday, May 26th for $8.99 at Target!


I also stopped at ULTA on the way to Best Buy and wound up with quite a haul!  I picked up a five-pack of ULTA brand nail polishes called POP AGANDA (Not agenda as I said in the video, oops!) for $9.95.  The colors have the best names: "Wham!," "Bam!," "Ka-Pow!," "Bang!," and "Zoom!"

ULTA brand also had a four-pack MAGNETIC collection for $9.99 that comes with a magnet and features the colors "Opposites Attract," "Put a Ring on It," "Rules of Attraction," and "Polar Opposites."

Finally, I snagged three colors from OPI's THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN collection from the upcoming summer blockbuster.  I also received a free yellow OPI Pocket File with a promotion ULTA is running this week with an OPI purchase.  The nail file is stored in plastic and pops out for easy access.  The OPI colors I picked up were "Your Web or Mine?," "Just Spotted the Lizard!," and "Shatter the Scales."


 Is anyone else obsessed with nail polish? What are you wearing right now?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sorry for the long absence!

Hey bookworms, sorry for being away from the blogging world for so long...and wrote so few entries in the weeks before this past one.

I had a few different major events occur within the same time frame and my concentration was completely shot.  I couldn't focus on reading, writing, blogging, any of that stuff.  And I didn't really want to, either.

Today, for example, is the first day I've turned the computer on in I can't even tell you how long...

So I apologize, and things are getting brighter again and will hopefully continue to do so in the next couple of weeks.  I'll hopefully have more entries for you soon, so please stick with me! :)

The past few days have been better.  I can read more than a paragraph (albeit in a genre I never read, romance [even if it IS mermaids], because it requires no concentration...), and I have ideas starting to spin in my head again.  I might even read a real book this week. :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Cover Crazy: Rounding Up Some of Last Week's Cover Reveals!


Cover Crazy is hosted by The Book Worms. Each week, bloggers "admire the art and beauty of a book’s design, so I’m going to post minimal words. It is up to you to write how you feel and what you like about it the way you’d like to."



So, this week has been really busy for me.  Obviously, since I didn't even get a Weekly Recap up yesterday (I opted to go back to sleep for an hour before work after showering...sorry!  I'll try to get it up tonight).  While I didn't have time to post covers as they were revealed, I'm rounding them up for your enjoyment now!

Which one do YOU like the best?




ASUNDER by Jodi Meadows



Ah, the sequel to INCARNATE finally has both a title AND a cover!  They revealed together.  INCARNATE is my 2012 love of the year so far.  Jodi's writing style is so beautiful that it makes me not want to write ever again because I know I can't write like her, and it hurts my heart.

I like the way this cover mirrors the first book, which has a butterfly mask instead of the flowers framing her face.  In the first book, there's a reason for this cover.  We'll see if there is in the second as well!

The new cover also mirrors the first by having a very similar gradient color scheme, and it picks up the white from the bottom of the first book by bringing it into the title and author's name on the second.

I can't wait to read this!!





FATHOMLESS by Jackson Pearce



I've got to tell you...
I've been DESPERATELY awaiting the reveal of this cover.  I love the covers for SISTERS RED and SWEETLY so incredibly much.

When I saw that the entire series was getting revised, my heart dropped.  Granted, the FATHOMLESS cover isn't bad by any means and is still interesting to look at, but it makes me so sad!

The new cover for SWEETLY looks rather generic and wouldn't stand out to me on a shelf, though it might to readers not as big on art-like covers, so there is that.  And we haven't seen the cover for SISTERS RED yet!

What I like the best about the new cover is the way the title FATHOMLESS is bure white...except for a littttttle bit of red up in the "H" and the "O," which adds a sinister edge to the cover.

I really like the necklace floating down in the ocean, too, and that poor mermaid looks trapped, as though maybe she's actually real and cursed into jewelry.  I like the sound of that!






PRODIGY by Marie Lu



I'm not sure if this one actually revealed this past week or when, but I saw it for the first time this week, so...!

I really hope the black on that cover prints as metallic, or else it will look noticeably different from LEGEND, which is super shiny!  Then again, there's definitely silver foil happening in the title/author lettering, which matches the gold from the first, so at the very least, there is that.

While the symbol looks very different this time around, it also looks less military, which will pick up interest from readers who may have overlooked the cover for the first book, while still appealing to the first market.

Plus, I want to know more about that logo, don't you??





FALLING KINGDOMS by Morgan Rhodes



Again, not sure when this ACTUALLY revealed, but I noticed it for the first time this week.  I've been looking forward to reading this one because it sounds like a good fantasy, and the cover has me even more excited!

I would pick this up blind to see what it was about.  from the mysterious figure to the shadowed background to that logo or object or whatever in the foreground, I want to know more!  I also like the way the word KINGDOMS is fading into smoke.

Give me now, please, thank you?





DELUSION by Laura L. Sullivan



I hadn't even heard of this book before this past week, but the cover very obviously looks like it's about magicials or illusionists or the circus or something, and that's enough to intrigue me right off the bat.  I've always liked such things, and my interest is renewed thanks to THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morgenstern (My favorite book of 2011) and the recent PBS mini-series CIRCUS.

This cover looks like a poster/advertisement for the act and has me hooked already!  I also love the font and design work around it.

This cover alone hooked me, and that's saying a lot, don't you think?





Which cover is your favorite this week?

Of them all, I'd probably say I like FALLING KINGDOMS best!

Friday, May 11, 2012

{review+giveaway} THE FORGETTING CURVE by Angie Smibert


~*~

A Backwards Story is happy to conclude The {Teen} Book Scene's THE FORGETTING CURVE Tour!  Check out the tour schedule to see the list of events that have been occurring.  Last week, I launched the tour with an interview with author Angie Smibert!


O P E N I N G   H O O K:


IT ALL STARTED WITH A DOOR.
Just like this one, but in a different city, in what feels like a different lifetime--even though it was only a month ago.
(pg. 1, US hardcover 1st edition)

Also check out last week's interview with Angie Smibert, which talks about the series and what's to come!


THE FORGETTING CURVE really doesn't stand on its own, so if you haven't read MEMENTO NORA, I would suggest doing that first.  I actually don't have a review up of the first book to link you to, so I'll sum it up here, then it's probably wise to stop reading if you don't want to be spoiled.

In MEMENTO NORA, Angie Smibert's debut dystopian novel, the world centers around TFC, a Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic.  If a person has bad memories or sees something horrible, they can go to their closest TFC (they have more branches than a Starbucks on every street road in NYC!), pop a pill, and forget.  TFC also gives out frequent user points with every visit, which can be used to purchase a cell phone, go on vacation, etc.  There are frequent terrorist attacks and car bombings, so people often use TFC.  Nora goes to TFC for the first time after witnessing one such attack, but follows a classmate named Micah's advice and spits the pill out.  The two start to talk at school despite being in different social circles and put together a comic strip called Memento Nora about their experiences with the TFC, which suddenly makes them Public Enemy #1.

THE FORGETTING CURVE picks up shortly after MEMENTO NORA takes off and reveals what happens to Nora, Micah, and Winter at the end of the first book in the trilogy.  Smibert's sophomore release is told from the POV of Winter (the only reoccurring POV), her cousin Aiden, and her friend Velvet (Who you may recall meeting in the first book).  Aiden goes to a boarding school in Switzerland, a country that has remained neutral up until now but has just received its first TFC branch--and now has begun to have the same mysterious black car bombings that other countries with TFC experience.  Aiden is a hacker and manages to get kicked out of school, but not before he distributes copies of a comic strip called Memento Nora in the bathroom, despite knowing nothing about the truth lying on the pages.  He returns home to the USA and reunites with Winter, who is struggling to come to terms with her world after her brush with TFC in the previous book.  Aiden enlists Winter's friend Velvet for help and discovers that TFC is once again at the heart of a sinister plot, this one involving ID ear chips that will allow TFC to wash away your bad memories right from your own home thanks to a new cell phone app about to launch.  While the first book utilized a comic book to get its warnings about the TFC across, the new one features a MemeCast run on a frequency that the ID chip can register and play into a person's ear, and the voice of MemeCast will surprise you!

I'm glad I read the first book recently because it made it easier to remember what was going on.  This is one of those books where you have to read or re-read the first book to remember everything.  Both books are fast reads that are easy to get through as you rush to see what happens next, but because they are so short and in multiple POVs, it's harder to fully connect with the characters.  There's not enough character development to make truly care about anyone long after the book has ended.  At the same time, the POVs are strong in that each character has his/her own unique voice. While I always checked the top to see whose eyes I was looking through this time, I didn't really need to because each voice is distinct, unlike other books with multiple POVs that I can think of.  I was excited to see that Winter was returning to the new book because her character was a stand-out in the first.  I was also eager to see what actually happened to Nora and Micah and not just see what the TFC brainwashed everyone into believing.  Smibert definitely creates a hook to lead you into the third and final in the series, THE MEME PLAGUE.  If she expands her cast of narrators, I definitely hope that the book will be longer, because I like staying with the characters and seeing through their eyes.  The future in this series is certainly believable, and one we could actually find ourselves with if we continue allowing powerful companies and the government more control until they begin micromanaging our very lives.

~*~
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

I like that both of these covers match so well!  The first book, MEMENTO NORA, has a very "comic book feel" to it, which is appropriate considering the fact that there's a comic book called Memento Nora lying within.


The new book, THE FORGETTING CURVE, has the same design theme, using the same way of profiling a model and putting them in the foreground, with a cityscape and body of water in the background.


I like the way the model is wearing huge, cool-boy sunglasses, yet a preppy collar shirt, which suits Aiden perfectly.


I also like the way the title is curved, mimic its very name, but also creating an extra point of interest (and also lending a comic book feel!).
  ~*~
O F F I C I A L   I N F O:


Title: THE FORGETTING CURVE
Author: Angie Smibert
Release Date: Out May 01, 2012
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish
Received: Received for Review;

SUMMARY:

Aiden Nomura likes to open doors—especially using his skills as a hacker—to see what’s hidden inside. He believes everything is part of a greater system: the universe. The universe shows him the doors, and he keeps pulling until one cracks open. Aiden exposes the flaw, and the universe—or someone else—will fix it. It’s like a game.


Until it isn’t.


When a TFC opens in Bern, Switzerland, where Aiden is attending boarding school, he knows things are changing. Shortly after, bombs go off within quiet, safe Bern. Then Aiden learns that his cousin Winter, back in the States, has had a mental breakdown. He returns to the US immediately.


But when he arrives home in Hamilton, Winter’s mental state isn’t the only thing that’s different. The city is becoming even stricter, and an underground movement is growing.


Along with Winter’s friend, Velvet, Aiden slowly cracks open doors in this new world. But behind those doors are things Aiden doesn’t want to see—things about his society, his city, even his own family. And this time Aiden may be the only one who can fix things... before someone else gets hurt.

And now, because Marshall Cavendish and The {Teen} Book Scene are awesome, you have a chance to win this exciting novel!  Runner-ups will receive autographed bookmark swag!