BOOK REVIEW: Little Fires Everywhere  by Celeste Ng

Title: Little Fires Everywhere

Author/s: Celeste Ng

Publication Date: September 12th 2017

Publisher: by Penguin Press

Format: Paperback

Number of Pages: 352

Purchase at: Amazon

synopsis

“In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.
Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.
When old family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town–and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs.

My Thoughts

Little Fires Everywhere is one of the most engrossing 2017 release that I’ve read. From the writing down to the plot, man, it was beautiful.

One of the many things that amazed me in this novel is the setting. Shaker Heights, I still can’t believe how planned everything is, imagine, included is the way to dispose or collect garbage. Even mowing a lawn!

The characters. Pearl seemed to be a young girl who’s innocent, but then like most of us teenagers, we can’t help but hangout and spend some time with people. Those who have different lifestyle than us, different mindsets. And little do we know, we’re adapting. We’re changing. Peer pressure, wanting to fit in, craving to be a part of what’s in trend.
Izzy, one who is so unique, crazy in ways others can’t explain and understand. I saw myself in her, someone who wanted to have a different life, one who feels like there’s more to her life than this. The other characters, each and everyone of them has their own deep voices. Reading the book, I realized that almost everyone was given a spotlight, a chance to be heard.

The Mother-Daughter relationship. There was a misunderstanding, a miscommunication between a mother and a daughter. Mothers, most of the time, only want what’s best for their children.

Both families in the book are different in nature, different in many ways. The Richardsons are loving an almost perfect life, while Pearl and Mia are like nomads, Mia doesn’t even have a stable or regular job. Still, one can’t deny the fact that NOT EVERYTHING IS ABOUT WEALTH.

“It bothers you, doesn’t it?” Mia said suddenly. “I think you can’t imagine. Why anyone would choose a different life from the one you’ve got. Why anyone might want something other than a big house with a big lawn, a fancy car, a job in an office. Why anyone would choose anything different than what you’d choose.”

Little Fires Everywhere did not just explore the weight of secrets, not just motherhood as well as art and identity. It also explored one’s rights. It delved into a child, a teenager, an adult, and a parent’s life and perspective. It tackled about making the right decisions and, choosing. Determining the fine like between right and wrong. It captured life and its complications, relationship complexities.

LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE FELT SO REAL!

Rating

5stars


author

164692Celeste Ng is the author of the novel Everything I Never Told You, which was a New York Times bestseller, a New York Times Notable Book of 2014, Amazon’s #1 Best Book of 2014, and named a best book of the year by over a dozen publications. Everything I Never Told You was also the winner of the Massachusetts Book Award, the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, the ALA’s Alex Award, and the Medici Book Club Prize, and was a finalist for numerous awards, including the Ohioana Award, the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger Award, and the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award.

Celeste grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Shaker Heights, Ohio, in a family of scientists. Celeste attended Harvard University and earned an MFA from the University of Michigan (now the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan), where she won the Hopwood Award. Her fiction and essays have appeared in One Story, TriQuarterly, Bellevue Literary Review, the Kenyon Review Online, and elsewhere, and she is a recipient of the Pushcart Prize.

Currently, she lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her second novel, Little Fires Everywhere, will be published by Penguin Press in fall 2017

BOOKS BY CELESTE NG:

186937631

 


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PH BLOG TOUR: Warcross by Marie Lu (BOOK REVIEW + GIVEAWAY)

29385546Title: Warcoss

Author/s: Marie Lu

Publication Date: September 12, 2017

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Format: Paperback

Number of Pages: 368

Purchase at: Amazon

synopsis

“For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

My Thoughts

**Thank you Penguin Random House International and Raf The Royal Polar Bear Reads for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this blog tour, this however does not affect my review.**

Warcross is my first Marie Lu book, and she instantly became one of my favorite authors. Hands down to this astounding book, which is so far, my most favorite read this year. 

Who would’ve thought that rainbow-colored hair, hacking… Science, will have the power to make me feel as if I am on the edge of my seat? I am not a fan of Science Fiction, I am a Fantasy and YA Contemporary/Fiction lover. However, this Sci-Fi novel was beautifully made, I had to change my mind. I’ll go and try Sci-Fi’s now. Intimidation almost prevented me from reading this book because Warcross’ genre is something that is out of my comfort zone. 

Let’s first talk about the world building.  Imagine a world transformed by a virtual reality called Warcross. A game where an individual uses a cool pair of glasses called Neurolink (which fools the audience into thinking everything is real) a brain-computer interface. 

Warcross was pretty simple: two teams battled each other, one trying to take the other team’sArtifact (a shiny gem) without losing their own.

The futuristic components like the advanced technology, the virtual reality, especially Warcross’ world-building were handled in excellent and detailed ways. Reading the novel made me feel like I myself is inside their world, as if Marie Lu just pulled me in. I didn’t want to get out. What surprised me most is how easy it was to get along with Marie’s writing, knowing the fact that it’s Science (the main reason why I fear reading such genre) that we’re talking about here, Scientific aspects were explained meticulously. Also, Marie Lu dared to vividly discuss how technology and other innovations can change a person, how it affect one’s life. I mean, it was absolutely evident that the characters inside the novel are pretty much addicted to Warcross. 

The pacing was fast enough for such an action-packed story. I have no more words for this part, for the pacing was greatly made.

The diverse characters. Emika, Hideo, and the other characters are way different from each other, aside from the fact that most of them are gamers/players. Hideo is Japanese, Emika is Chinese-American. There are those who belong to the LGBTQ community. As well as there are characters of color. Having said about the diversity of the characters, let’s now talk about how developed they are. Emika is a bounty-hunter, a good, tough, and determined one, while Hideo is pretty interesting, he’s too mysterious in which it is a good fit for his character as the founder of Warcross. Both are tough, but complicated. Both are also SMART, and I’ve always envied people who are good in Science and Technology. 

I DISLIKE INSTA-LOVE. But I can’t say that I didn’t like the romance in this book. Because:

1.) The love was somehow showed in a slow and timely manner (but the attraction was dead obvious in the first place) 

2.) Emika did not depend her actions to her feelings. She quite used her head and thought about some things first. Hats off!

3.) I AM IN LOVE WITH HIDEO TANAKA. The entire time that I was reading parts where the spotlight was focused only on him and Emika, I CAN’T HELP BUT SWOON. 

Marie Lu introduced me to a remarkable plot that is full of hidden agendas, secrets, and lies. There were not any dull moments. Marie managed to show a balance between the imaginative and the real life stuff. Sadly, I managed to predict one of the twists. It kind of almost disappointed me because during the time that I was reading the book, it kept on surprising me. BUT it happened that I almost slapped myself for thinking that I predicted the biggest reveal. BUT MARIE LU PROVED ME WRONG, FOR I DID NOT SEE THAT ONE COMING! THAT PLOT TWIST LEFT ME TOTALLY FLABBERGASTED. 

Warcross was so intense, so thrilling, I did not even put the book down. It’s amazing how entertaining the book was. THE ENDING HURT ME. The book ended in the most intense part! I can’t believe that I would have to wait for a year for the next book. 

Overall, I JUST WANT YOU TO READ WARCROSS and hope that you’ll love it as much as I did.

Rating

5stars

GIVEAWAY

If you want to join the giveaway, please click HERE


author

4342215MARIE LU writeS young adult novels, and have a special love for dystopian books. Ironically, she was born in 1984. Before becoming a full-time writer, she was an Art Director at a video game company. Now she shuffles around at home and talk to myself a lot. 🙂

She graduated from the University of Southern California in ’06 and currently live in LA, where she spends my time stuck on the freeways.

Website 

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BLOG TOUR: Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust (Book Review + Mood Board + Giveaway)

21325645_1422313911151640_1009778711_nTitle: Girls Made of Snow and Glass

Author/s: Melissa Bashardoust

Publication Date: September 5th 2017

Publisher: by Flatiron Books

Format: Paperback

Number of Pages: 384

Purchase at: Amazon

synopsis

Frozen meets The Bloody Chamber in this feminist fantasy reimagining of the Snow White fairytale

At sixteen, Mina’s mother is dead, her magician father is vicious, and her silent heart has never beat with love for anyone—has never beat at all, in fact, but she’d always thought that fact normal. She never guessed that her father cut out her heart and replaced it with one of glass. When she moves to Whitespring Castle and sees its king for the first time, Mina forms a plan: win the king’s heart with her beauty, become queen, and finally know love. The only catch is that she’ll have to become a stepmother.

Fifteen-year-old Lynet looks just like her late mother, and one day she discovers why: a magician created her out of snow in the dead queen’s image, at her father’s order. But despite being the dead queen made flesh, Lynet would rather be like her fierce and regal stepmother, Mina. She gets her wish when her father makes Lynet queen of the southern territories, displacing Mina. Now Mina is starting to look at Lynet with something like hatred, and Lynet must decide what to do—and who to be—to win back the only mother she’s ever known…or else defeat her once and for all.

Entwining the stories of both Lynet and Mina in the past and present, Girls Made of Snow and Glass traces the relationship of two young women doomed to be rivals from the start. Only one can win all, while the other must lose everything—unless both can find a way to reshape themselves and their story.

My Thoughts

*I want to say thank you to Macmillan International, Flat Iron Books, and Karina of Afire Pages for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this magical blog tour*

What are words? I actually don’t know how and where to start. So please bear with me guys, for this review will be very random. I’ll put my thoughts into words without any hesitation.

Girls Made of Snow and Glass is probably the most powerful Snow White reimagining I’ve ever read. It’s no secret that the book is a feminist YA novel, and surprisingly, Melissa did a pretty great job. It’s quite diverse, which I didn’t expect.

The story as well as the characters seemed familiar, yet refreshing. The strong female leads were portrayed in amazingly different ways. Wherein I didn’t presume it to be that good. Too good. This is a character-driven novel. I am pleased that though I’m someone who has a weak spot for plot twists & turns, this one did not even disappoint me a bit. I loved the characters of Mina, Lynet, and Nadia.

The concept of this book mesmerized me. Especially how wonderful the girls were made. How they were handled. Mina was a human, whose heart was replaced by glass, while Lynet was made of the magician’s blood, and snow. Mina and Lynet’s relationship was downright beautiful. Where I fell in love with are the girl’s stories, their personalities, and their relationship. For this isn’t your typical mother-daughter conflicted story. Their relationship was so complex. It was all about love. Craving love, wanting to feel loved, and the desire to be able to give it. I was in awe as to how developed the characters are. There were no knights in shining armor, no prince charming. Man, that was what I’ve been looking for! Girls/women who can fight for themselves, stand, be courageous, be their own hero. The girls were strong, brave, they know what they want, and they’re persistent. Mina, Nadia, and Lynet, just proved to every reader that they can be whatever they want, they can do whatever they want to. And that their only limit is their self. 

I originally rated the book 4.5, but of course, I needed to round it up. 4.5 stars for the reason that the pacing disturbed me, if the pacing wasn’t too slow, it’s too fast. Also, I want to point out the lack of world building. More background about the curse that was placed in Whitespring. I needed more, but despite these facts, GMOSAG was written beautifully, it was well-thought of.

Overall, I was really hooked. Beyond impressed. Melissa captured me, wholly, in ways I wouldn’t want to forget. With her exquisite and moving writing style, she dared to touch her me as her new reader. MELISSA THAWED THIS FROZEN HEART! 

Rating

5stars


author

15454955

Melissa Bashardoust (pronounced BASH-ar-doost) received her degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley, where she rediscovered her love for creative writing, children’s literature, and fairy tales and their retellings. She currently lives in Southern California with a cat named Alice and more copies of Jane Eyre than she probably needs. Girls Made of Snow and Glass is her first novel.

 

 

Girls Made of Snow and Glass Mood Board

For Blog Tour

GIVEAWAY

RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

 


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BOOK REVIEW: What To Say Next by Julie Buxbaum #WTSNPhBlogTour

Title: What to Say Next

Author/s: Julie Buxbaum

Publication Date: July 11, 2017

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Format: Paperback

Number of Pages: 272

Purchase at: Amazon

synopsis

From the New York Times bestselling author of Tell Me Three Things comes a charming and poignant story about two struggling teenagers who find an unexpected connection just when they need it most. For fans of Sophie Kinsella, Jennifer Niven, and Rainbow Rowell.

Sometimes a new perspective is all that is needed to make sense of the world.

KIT: I don’t know why I decide not to sit with Annie and Violet at lunch. It feels like no one here gets what I’m going through. How could they? I don’t even understand.

DAVID: In the 622 days I’ve attended Mapleview High, Kit Lowell is the first person to sit at my lunch table. I mean, I’ve never once sat with someone until now. “So your dad is dead,” I say to Kit, because this is a fact I’ve recently learned about her. 

When an unlikely friendship is sparked between relatively popular Kit Lowell and socially isolated David Drucker, everyone is surprised, most of all Kit and David. Kit appreciates David’s blunt honesty—in fact, she finds it bizarrely refreshing. David welcomes Kit’s attention and her inquisitive nature. When she asks for his help figuring out the how and why of her dad’s tragic car accident, David is all in. But neither of them can predict what they’ll find. Can their friendship survive the truth?

My Thoughts

 I remember it too clearly, right after I finished reading Julie’s Tell Me Three Things, I said to myself: “Julia Buxbaum now belongs to my auto-buy-authors list.” 
And here it is, I’ve been given a chance to be a part of a PH Blog Tour, hosted by a fellow Filipino, and sponsored by Penguin Random House International. Thank you so much, guys!
This quick, sweet, and interesting read would have gotten a perfect 5 stars if it wasn’t for the fact that I thought the book centered on death, and I am soooo tired of stories with such subject. (I am not telling you that this novel is mainly about death)
I was once a high school student, and as everyone knows, being one is not a joke. Especially if you’re around people who are mean (the total jerk and bitches). You will be afraid to speak out. You wouldn’t like each other. You will want to be someone else. Wish that you’re in a different place. But that is high school, that is life. And you need to have courage to stand for yourself, because only you can.
I sometimes find myself connected to the characters. And that’s what makes me like this book even more, the connection. The diversity present in the novel, and the characters who have strong voices make the story stand out. I enjoyed reading about David’s qualities, as well as being inside his head, I liked that I got to learn more information about such mentality. 
Overall, this novel made it to my 2017-favorite-reads, and this has been another beautiful book written by such a lovely author.

Rating

5stars


author

Julie Buxbaum is A New York Times best selling author of Tell Me Three Things, her young adult debut, and the critically acclaimed novels The Opposite of Love and After You.  Her work has been translated into twenty-five languages. Julie’s writing has appeared in various publications, including The New York Times. She is a former lawyer and graduate of Harvard Law School and lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two young children, and an immortal goldfish.

Follow Julie on:


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BOOK REVIEW: Perfect by Cecelia Ahern

Title: Perfect

Author/s: Cecelia Ahern

Publication Date: April 4th 2017

Publisher: by Feiwel & Friends

Format: Paperback

Number of Pages: 341

Purchase at: Amazon

synopsis

“Celestine North is Flawed.

Ever since Judge Crevan declared her the number one threat to the public, she has been a ghost, on the run with Carrick, the only person she can trust.

But Celestine has a secret—one that could bring the entire Flawed system crumbling to the ground. A secret that has already caused countless people to go missing.

Judge Crevan is gaining the upper hand, and time is running out for Celestine. With tensions building, Celestine must make a choice: save just herself or risk her life to save all Flawed people.

My Thoughts

In “Perfect”, I learned to love each character, be it the good and the bad ones.

Unlike in the first book, the romance was more present in this one. The characters’ real intentions were also revealed, and oh my that was just what I am looking for! the thrill, the answer to the mysteries!

Celestine North, once again, developed. And it was from a hundred to perfect. She learned how to embrace her flaws, and to accept other people.

The supporting characters were quite developed too. And that is what I loved most. How her family, those who love her, did not turn their back against Celestine. They stood beside her, fought with her, fought for her, despite knowing the fact that they are in a really dangerous place.

The novel also showed how power drives a person crazy, how much of a person is willing to give and take just to have the power that they desire.

Cecelia Ahern’s writing style is what gave this book a perfect 5 stars. It was compelling, regardless the fact that some parts are too descriptive and irrelevant, I did not dare to skip.

Perfect was a wonderful ending to the duology. I just wish that there are still more, for the reason that the first and this book was beautifully written but it felt like it was a bit rushed.

Overall, I recommend this action-packed and intense book to Dystopian lovers!

Rating

5stars


author

Cecelia Ahern was born and grew up in Dublin. She is now published in nearly fifty countries, and has sold over twenty-five million copies of her novels worldwide. Two of her books have been adapted as films and she has created several TV series.

 

 


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BOOK REVIEW: Flawed by Cecelia Ahern

Title: Flawed

Author/s: Cecelia Ahern

Publication Date: April 5th 2016

Publisher: by Feiwel and Friends

Format: Paperback

Number of Pages: 336

Purchase at: Amazon

synopsis

You will be punished…

Celestine North lives a perfect life. She’s a model daughter and sister, she’s well-liked by her classmates and teachers, and she’s dating the impossibly charming Art Crevan.

But then Celestine encounters a situation where she makes an instinctive decision. She breaks a rule and now faces life-changing repercussions. She could be imprisoned. She could be branded. She could be found flawed.

In her breathtaking young adult debut, bestselling author Cecelia Ahern depicts a society where perfection is paramount and flaws lead to punishment. And where one young woman decides to take a stand that could cost her everything.

My Thoughts

**Thank you Macmillan International for providing a copy of Flawed by Cecelia Ahern, in exchange of an honest review.**

Flawed grabbed me from its very first line: “I am a girl of definitions, of logic, of black and white.”

I don’t know why, but it happened that I used to avoid this book. No, I used to avoid books with a concept like this one. I am not a fan of Dystopian. However, Karina of @afirepages ‘ love for this book made me really curious, and got me asking for a review copy to read. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

In the first few chapters, we were introduced to the main character and the Guild- government’s temporary solution to people’s wrongdoings. If you are branded as Flawed (literally) it may be because you made a bad decision, you lied, you committed theft, or you’ve been disloyal to the Guild. The branding location will depend on the error of one’s judgement. And there are only a few things branded people are allowed to do.

Celestine North, Art Crevan’s girlfriend, daughter of an admired couple, a girl who’s been Perfect her entire life not until she made a choice of helping an old flawed man. Now she must face the consequences of her decision.

The pacing is another factor why this book was rated 5 stars. It was quick-paced but it’s pleasing enough since it has thrilling events. I think the pacing also worked for the novel’s world building.

Did I mention that this books
is diverse? Celestine having a black father and a white mother.

I liked how the main character, as well as SOME of the minor ones improved. Their development are pretty much satisfying knowing that Celestine was once a people-pleaser, as well as her mother. They used to obey the rules and make sure that they aren’t doing anything that will ruin them. All of those changed when one had the courage to stand and fight for what she knows is right. Needless to say, the characters, almost all of them has loud voices. Just read between the lines and you’ll get the messages they convey.

“Remember, in this world, image is everything.”

Flawed is has perfect storyline with an amazing concept and a wonderful writing style. Hats off to Ahern!

This novel was my most favorite read last month. And Cecelia Ahern, surprisingly, made it to my “auto-buy authors” list.

Piqued your curiosity? Please do read the book.

Rating

5stars


author

Cecelia Ahern was born and grew up in Dublin. She is now published in nearly fifty countries, and has sold over twenty-five million copies of her novels worldwide. Two of her books have been adapted as films and she has created several TV series.

 


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BOOK REVIEW: House of Furies by Madeleine Roux

Title: House of Furies

Author/s: by Madeleine Roux

Publication Date: May 30, 2017

Publisher: HarperTeen

Format: Paperback

Number of Pages: 416

Purchase at: Amazon

synopsis

“After escaping a harsh school where punishment was the lesson of the day, seventeen-year-old Louisa Ditton is thrilled to find employment as a maid at a boarding house. But soon after her arrival at Coldthistle House, Louisa begins to realize that the house’s mysterious owner, Mr. Morningside, is providing much more than lodging for his guests. Far from a place of rest, the house is a place of judgment, and Mr. Morningside and his unusual staff are meant to execute their own justice on those who are past being saved.

Louisa begins to fear for a young man named Lee who is not like the other guests. He is charismatic and kind, and Louisa knows that it may be up to her to save him from an untimely judgment. But in this house of distortions and lies, how can Louisa be sure whom to trust?

Featuring stunning interior illustrations from artist Iris Compiet, plus photo-collages that bring Coldthistle House to chilling life, House of Furies invites readers to a world where the line between monsters and men is ghostly thin.

My Thoughts
I was fortunate enough that I got approved on being provided an ARC of one of my most anticipated reads this year. Thank you so much HarperCollins International!
Madeleine Roux has always been my favorite author when it comes to Horror novels, so I was beyond ecstatic when I heard about House of Furies. Good thing my expectations were met! As always, Roux is full of surprises.
I started reading this book in the midst of the night, and it was seriously spooky. Even reading this in broad daylight still got me goosebumps! I demand more concept and storyline like this.
The book has a somewhat slow pace, but enough to keep you on the edge of your sit. The mystery behind the Coldthistle House, the servants, the boarders, and Mr. Morningside slowly unravels. Lots of great stuff are happening inside the house. Everything was so devious. The dark magics, dark secrets and even the book! 
Roux even managed to put some mythological beings I am not well aware of. I even had to search more about the creatures, and oh god it was really eerily amazing! The imagery created was pure awesomeness. I can’t wait to see all of the illustrations!
What made me love this book more is that there aren’t any Romance, or I think none yet. What’s between Louisa and Lee is a blooming relationship. But to be honest, I am shipping Louisa and Mr. Morningside! 
And so it happened, that again, I am left with lots of questions. I need more. What will happen to Lee? What has become of him? Will he change? I need to know more about Louisa especially after the decisions she had made.
I highly recommend House of Furies to fans of horror and mystery novels.

Rating

4stars


author

New York Times Bestselling Author of the ASYLUM series, Allison Hewitt Is Trapped, Sadie Walker Is Stranded and the upcoming House of Furies series.

MADELEINE ROUX received her BA in Creative Writing and Acting from Beloit College in 2008. In the spring of 2009, Madeleine completed an Honors Term at Beloit College, proposing, writing and presenting a full-length historical fiction novel. Shortly after, she began the experimental fiction blog Allison Hewitt Is Trapped. Allison Hewitt Is Trapped quickly spread throughout the blogosphere, bringing a unique serial fiction experience to readers.

Born in Minnesota, she now lives and works in Seattle, Washington.


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