Mini Review: Random by Tom Leveen

August 23, 2014

Title: Random
Author: Tom Leveen
Publication date: August 12, 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse (Simon & Schuster)
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Rating: 
Source: Publisher (Edelweiss)
Amazon Goodreads TBD
Who's the real victim here? This tense and gripping exploration of cyberbullying and teen suicide is perfect for fans of Before I Fall and Thirteen Reasons Why.

Late at night Tori receives a random phone call. It's a wrong number. But the caller seems to want to talk, so she stays on the line.

He asks for a single thing—one reason not to kill himself.

The request plunges her into confusion. Because if this random caller actually does what he plans, he'll be the second person connected to Tori to take his own life. And the first just might land her in jail. After her Facebook page became Exhibit A in a tragic national news story about cyberbullying, Tori can't help but suspect the caller is a fraud. But what if he’s not? Her words alone may hold the power of life or death.

With the clock ticking, Tori has little time to save a stranger—and maybe redeem herself—leading to a startling conclusion that changes everything…
Is it possible to completely dislike a book but still learn a lot from it? Because that's how I feel about Random by Tom Leveen.

Earlier this week, I wrote about how I felt Random's cover revamp was a change for the worse. But that's not all about the book that disappointed me. A lot of things about this story, right from the protagonist to the conclusion and the 'twist' fell absolutely flat for me.

Book Cover Changes Before Publication

August 20, 2014

I think we can all agree by now that we are not immune to book covers. As much as we like to bandy about the old adage 'Dont judge a book by its cover', at the end of the day, the cover does have a significant effect on our opinion of a book. And if you dont know this already, you should know that I'm a bit of a cover snob.

Much has been said about cover changes after the publication of a book, be it entire cover revamps or even cover alternatives from region to region. Features have been formed, cover battles and showdowns take place... there's almost an entire sub-section in book blogging devoted to book covers! But I was wondering, has anyone considered cover changes before publication?

We all have seen that little sticker saying 'Cover Not Final' on our ARCs, but for the most part, the cover on the ARC is pretty much the same thing that will end up on the cover of the final print. Even if changes are made, they're pretty minor, and worked into the basic design.

Review: In A Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis

August 12, 2014

Title: In A Handful of Dust
Author: Mindy McGinnis
Publication date: September 23, 2014
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins)
Genre: YA, Post Apocalyptic
Rating: 
Source: Publisher (Edelweiss)
Amazon Goodreads TBD
The only thing bigger than the world is fear.

Lucy’s life by the pond has always been full. She has water and friends, laughter and the love of her adoptive mother, Lynn, who has made sure that Lucy’s childhood was very different from her own. Yet it seems Lucy’s future is settled already—a house, a man, children, and a water source—and anything beyond their life by the pond is beyond reach.

When disease burns through their community, the once life-saving water of the pond might be the source of what’s killing them now. Rumors of desalinization plants in California have lingered in Lynn’s mind, and the prospect of a “normal” life for Lucy sets the two of them on an epic journey west to face new dangers: hunger, mountains, deserts, betrayal, and the perils of a world so vast that Lucy fears she could be lost forever, only to disappear in a handful of dust.

In this companion to Not a Drop to Drink, Mindy McGinnis thrillingly combines the heart-swelling hope of a journey, the challenges of establishing your own place in the world, and the gripping physical danger of nature in a futuristic frontier.
INITIAL REACTION UPON COMPLETION:
This book is such brilliant work! I didn't think I could admire Lynn anymore than I already did, but Mindy McGinnis, thank you for proving me wrong! Lucy, on the other hand... Hmm...