I love books and there is nothing I love more than meeting the human beings who write the books I enjoy. Last week I had a windfall as four authors of some sure summer hits were visiting my area.
Kelley Armstrong – Kiera Cass – Kimberly Derting – Danielle Paige
Kelley Armstrong is most famous for writing Bitten, which is now a popular Scyfy TV show. I had never heard of her but after reading the book jacket I was intrigued enough to purchase the book. After listening to her speak about the book I felt like this might be my favorite of the four.
Sea of Shadows is a story about twin girls who are the caretakers of the Forest of the Dead, where all criminals are exiled to die. On the girls first trip into the forest they are attacked and separated and thus the adventure begins.
Kiera Cass was the crowd favorite that evening. The third book in her Selection series, The One, just came out. While I found The Selection to be on the more juvenile side of YA, the story concept still drew me in. Cass keeps it simple. She chooses to develop her characters over developing their world, this is not to say the world has been neglected. The setting does not have the depth of Hunger Games or Harry Potter but the events speak to the girly side in all women. The main character, America, is a girl who is born 300 years in our future. We have a monarchy in place of government and society is classed by numbers 1-12, 12 being the worst. America is a 5. Her family are artists and musicians but even they do not have enough to eat most days. Due to her circumstances America enters into The Selection, a pagent like tradition where the winner will become the next queen of the country. I am excited to see the resolution to the story. Cass has said this third book will shed more light on the revolution that has rocked our story but not fully taken hold in the story.
Kimberly Derting has a new book, Taking, about a girl who disappeared from the world for 5 years and wakes up not a day older to find life has moved on with out her and all she loves in shambles. The book jacket alludes to a possible alien conspiracy so I am hesitant about it. It is on my reading list but I did not buy a copy that evening. I do love the first book in her series The Pledge. I have only read the first book but her concept about a society segregated by language was really interesting and well done.
I live in Kansas, so this book is right up my alley. Maybe because I live in Kansas, maybe because the Wizard of Oz was one of only two VHS tapes I owned as a young child, whatever it is I love all things Oz. Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige takes the story one step further. I am already a fan of the Wicked Series by Gregory Maguire which explores the Wicked Witch and her past. Paige has decided to explore Dorothy’s future after Oz. If you knew a place like Oz existed, why would you ever return to Kansas? In Paige’s future Oz, Dorothy has taken a dark turn and becomes evil incarnate in gingham. Enter, Amy Gumm, another Kansan, who has to undo Dorothy’s work to save Oz…again.
I love twisted or reinvented or modernized versions of my favorite classic stories.
All four authors were completely endearing and fun. They seemed to be having fun traveling together and might all end up as close friends. They evening was light, entertaining and full of laughs. My friend J and I were among the few adult fans who attended in a sea of teens. All the authors were very open and attentive to their fans, signing multiple items, taking photos and listening to them gush. As we usually do at book signings, we had a good time and good conversation.