Readathon? Anyone? Bueller?

Hey, y'all.

One of my 2011 goals is to host and participate in a readathon. I'm thinking I'll host it in mid-June. Would anyone else be interested in participating? Please take a minute to fill out this super-short survey. If you can't see the survey, click here.

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

ABEA Winner!

Happy memorial day! I hope y'all are enjoying the holiday! And for those of you who aren't having a holiday today, I hope you're enjoying your Monday!

The winner of the signed and semi-personalized copy of The Princess and the Hound is...

This is what she'd like to see in an interview:
I would want to know if you could rename your blog would you and if yes what and why.
Great question! And one that I actually have an interesting answer for. Did you know that Squeaky Books hasn't always been Squeaky Books? Yup. For the first few months of its existence it went under a different name! Brownie points if you can find what it was.

I'm really excited to get started on these interviews. And I have a major backlog of reviews that need to go up this week, so keep an eye out.

Have a fantabulous day! I'm off to go see Kung Fu Panda 2!

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011


The last two days I have worked from 7am-9pm, and then collapsed into bed. This is why I have not posted. In fact, I am writing this post while at work. Shh.

Y'all probably didn't even notice I was gone, but I saw this cartoon and it just felt right.

Maybe I'll post tomorrow. If I decide to wake up.

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

ABEA Day Three! Interview with Tara

Who's excited for Armchair BEA day three?! I AM! So apparently you were supposed to be assigned someone to interview, but I didn't do that. I went rogue and found my own people to interview (or rather, they found me). This is just the first of THREE ABEA interviews you'll see on Squeaky Books. Today I'm featuring Tara (one of my favorite names) from Taming the Bookshelf.

First, tell the Squeaky readers a little about yourself and your blog.
  • Hi Everyone! My name's Tara and I'm 26. I'm a stay at home Mom and I have a super wonderful son who is a year old! I started my blog so I could keep track of what books I read. I had NO IDEA that there was such a wonderful community of book bloggers when I first started! Also, let me apologize for the excessive use of the exclamation point in this interview.
You have a YA book blog, do you just read YA?
  • I read mostly YA, but I also read a lot of memoirs and biographies (It's not as boring as it sounds, trust me!). Every once in awhile I'll throw some Chick Lit in the mix too!

What was the last book you reviewed/read that you would recommend?
  • Can I pick two? Divergent just seriously blew my mind. It was amazing. Enclave by Ann Aguirre was really great too! I had read a lot of mixed reviews, so I was pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be really good!

I was one of those "mixed" reviews for Enclave, but I also LOVED Divergent. What are your top five books you've read this year?
  1. - Where She Went by Gayle Forman
  2. - Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder
  3. - Divergent by Veronica Roth
  4. - The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan
  5. - Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Ooh. Great list. So those are books you read and liked, but is there a book that you've been meaning to read, but haven't gotten around to yet?
  • Hush, Hush and Crescendo! I MUST read them before Silence comes out. Also, The City of Bones series! I KNOW, I KNOW! How have I NOT read them yet?! I own all of them, but haven't gotten around to reading them!

Ha! I only just read the first three Mortal Instruments books about six months ago, so you aren't alone. You say you own all of them, what do you think of owning eBooks? Do you own an eReader?
  • My husband got me a color Nook for Christmas! Best Christmas gift EVER (might even top my Barbie dream condo I got when I was 7!) My bookshelves are overflowing, so my eReader is a great way to get new books without adding to the clutter! But, Galley Grab and NetGalley are reason enough to buy an eReader!
  • (Mini Rant) I think the price of eBooks are actually a little high. I recently saw an eBook listed at $18.99! Crazy! I'm seeing more and more new releases being listed at $10.99 and ever $14.99! It really frustrates me when I see that an eBook is more expensive than the paperback or even HARDCOVER version of the book! (End Rant).

That's one of my biggest peeves with eReaders! I'd much rather pay for a physical copy. Next question: what's the hardest thing about blogging for you?
  • Writing a review as soon as I finish the book instead of procrastinating! I'm the world's greatest procrastinator.

Oh boy. I know that. It's really awkward when you finally write the review, and you can't remember it! Now let's flip that question: what's the best thing about blogging?
  • I love finding people that are as excited as I am about a new release. I also LOVE hearing about upcoming books! I adore drooling over the pretty new covers! I actually have a new release calendar (total book nerd move) that I update all the time so I can keep track of what I want to buy!

I love that too! I have my own non-blog calender that I update, and then I do my "upcoming releases" giveaway/feature on the blog. So if you're always on the prowl for upcoming books, do you read many other blogs?
  • I actually subscribe to about 400 (Yes, I just counted! AH!) book blogs. I check my Google Reader obsessively!

I think I subscribe to somewhere around that many. I have a google reader button on my desktop for easy access. All right, now a hard question: if you were trapped on a deserted island and could only bring ONE BOOK, which book would you bring?
  • The Princess Bride! Think of how awesome the movie times that by a hundred and that's kinda the picture.

YES! Good choice. Here's a non-blog question:Are you an aspiring writer? If so, how long have you been writing? And if not, why not?
  • No, I am definitely not an aspiring writer. I don't have a passion for writing, and ehhh...I'm not very good at it. Strictly a reader!

Heh, well we're all glad that you blog, at least. What kept you from BEA this year? Do you hope to attend next year? 2013?
  • My husband works about 60-80 hours a week! I don't have any family in the area that would be able to watch my son for an extended amount of time, so no BEA for me. However, I AM planning on attending the RT Book Lover's Convention next year, and hopefully ALA (It will be in Chicago - my hometown) in 2 years!

 Thanks for answering my questions Tara!


All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

I got interviewed!

Yay! I got interviewed by the awesome Linda of Most Important Letter for Armchair BEA! You can read her confusion (which is very similar to mine) and the awesome questions she thought up! I'll have an interview with another blogger up later today. Day three is so exciting!

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

ABEA Day Two! Giveaway!

Today's Armchair BEA prompt is "Best of 2011," but I don't have the brainpower to go searching through catalogues, so I'm going to do the alternate activity for the day and host a giveaway!

So what can you win today?

A SIGNED [and semi-personalized] copy of The Princess and the Hound!

Want to know what "semi-personalized" means? Well, then you'd better enter!

I'm double dipping in this contest. It's both for ABEA and Utah author month.

How can you enter? It's simple! No forms, no extra entries, no follower requirements. I just need you to answer one little thing in the comments.

I've really enjoyed the response I got to how many people wanted me to interview them. I already sent questions to THREE people for ABEA interviews, but I want to interview even MORE after ABEA. But the thing is, I'm really terrible at thinking up questions. So if you want to win this book, you need to:

Leave a comment with one question you'd like to see in a blogger-to-blogger interview

That's it! That's how you enter. NOTE! Please try to keep your questions original. If fifty people write "What's your favorite color?" or "Why do you have a blog?" Then this giveaway was kinda pointless. I don't need brilliance, just try to be unique. In fact, go crazy if you want to! The more wacky the questions the better! I'm a wacky person. Just keep them appropriate.

You don't need to leave your e-mail in the comments. But if you don't [leave your e-mail] you'd better be watching for when I announce the winner, 'cause I won't be able to contact you.

So here's the summary:

Giveaway Details
  • One winner will get a signed [and semi-personalized] copy of The Princess and the Hound
  • Must be a resident of the US (if you aren't a resident of the US, PLEASE still leave a comment with a question, just make sure you mention that you're from another country)
  • Must leave a comment with one question you'd like to see in a blogger-to-blogger interview
  • Giveaway runs until 5/29
  • Winner announced 5/30
Any questions? Feel free to ask in the comments!

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

Who are you, and how do you Armchair?

This year I'm giving Armchair BEA a try. Today's prompt is "Who are you, and how do you Armchair?" Sounds simple enough. So here we go!
  • Name: Enna Isilee. No, this isn't my real name. But I don't do anything with my real name online. I have a secret identity. I'm like a superhero!
  • How Long I've been Blogging: Nearly FOUR years! But I didn't really catch my stride until a year ago.
  • Favorite Author: Shannon Hale
  • Favorite Book: Tie with Book of a Thousand Days and Enna Burning, both my Shannon Hale
  • Social Networking: Twitter, GoodReads, FaceBook (Deleted! I've never felt so free!)
  • Random Fact: My middle finger on my left hand is significantly longer than the middle finger on my right. That's 'cause the left one is a mutant.
  • Hobbies: My primary hobby is reading (duh!), but I have also been known to sew, knit, graphic design, and watch TV.
  • Why I'm Not at BEA: Since BEA happens only a month after the school year ends, I need to plan a year in advance in order to go. One year ago I was not in ANY kind of financial position to go. Plus, I didn't know anyone who would go with me (and I'm not about to fly off to New York on my own!). I hope to go next year, but I'm still not sure if anyone will go with me. Working on it.
And... I think that's all I have to say. If you have anything you'd like to know about me, feel free to ask in the comments! (*prepares for crickets*) 


All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

**The Princess and the Bear-- Mette Ivie Harrison

Release Date: April 28th, 2009
Genre:  Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 327
Amazon Link*: Click Here
Goodreads Page: Click here
Series: Animal Magic Book #2 (Review of #1)
A love against all odds . . .

A battle against ancient forces . . .

He was once a king, turned into a bear as punishment for his cruel and selfish deeds.

She was a once a princess, now living in the form of a hound.

Wary companions, they are sent—in human form—back to a time when magic went terribly astray. Together they must right the wrongs caused by this devastating power—if only they can find a way to trust each other. But even as their attraction grows, an old evil resurfaces, and they risk losing each other and destroying magic forever.
Review: My word. I was a little iffy toward the first book in this series, but not so with this one. Mette really hit her stride here. This book was gripping, heartwarming, and just... magical.

It had a very strange plot (I wasn't really sure what the main goal of the story was) but that didn't matter. What mattered was the amazing way that the characters interacted and saw their world. And the love story was so wonderful. Just wonderful.

Something I found was interesting was that when we were given a snapshot of what had happened to the main characters of the first book, I discovered that I cared a lot more about them than I thought I did after I finished The Princess and the Hound. I guess absence makes the heart grow fonder? Dunno.

But nothing compares to the two main characters in this one. Woah.

Have I mentioned how much I loved the characters in this book? After I finished it I went back and reread the last couple chapters, 'cause I wasn't quite ready to leave these characters. I'm still not. I wish I could go back and read it again for the first time.

There was something that really distressed me. There are some spoilers, though, so if you want to know what it was you're going to have to highlight the following paragraph:

So... they travelled back in time, right? But doesn't that mean they changed the course of history? Do George and Marit even exist anymore? If they don't, what was the point of the first book?! That whole idea was really confusing.

But other than that, beautiful book. I'm so glad I own a copy.

This review is part of Utah Author Month.

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

*I am an amazon affiliate. If you purchase this book using my link, I will get a tiny fraction of the purchase, which goes toward contests.

P.S. I feel like this is not a good review. I'm having a hard time putting my thoughts about this book into words. Hopefully you all got the bottom line of: I liked it.

The Eleventh Plague-- Jeff Hirsch

Release Date: September 1st, 2011
Genre:  Post-apocalyptic, Romance
Publisher: Scholastic
Pages: 288
Amazon Link*: Click Here
Goodreads Page: Click here
The wars that followed The Collapse nearly destroyed civilization. Now, twenty years later, the world is faced with a choice—rebuild what was or make something new.

Stephen Quinn, a quiet and dutiful fifteen-year-old scavenger, travels Post-Collapse America with his Dad and stern ex-Marine Grandfather. They travel light. They keep to themselves. Nothing ever changes. But when his Grandfather passes suddenly and Stephen and his Dad decide to risk it all to save the lives of two strangers, Stephen's life is turned upside down. With his father terribly injured, Stephen is left alone to make his own choices for the first time.

Stephen’s choices lead him to Settler's Landing, a lost slice of the Pre-Collapse world where he encounters a seemingly benign world of barbecues, baseball games and days spent in a one-room schoolhouse. Distrustful of such tranquility, Stephen quickly falls in with Jenny Tan, the beautiful town outcast. As his relationship with Jenny grows it brings him into violent conflict with the leaders of Settler's Landing who are determined to remake the world they grew up in, no matter what the cost
Review: I feel bad that this was a tour book, and so I had to move it to the top of my TBR pile. I'm certainly not doing it any favors reading it so soon after Blood Red Road because it's too similar, and can't possibly hope to measure up.

To be completely honest, this book was... unmemorable. Already, just an hour after I've finished it, I can feel the storyline and characters seeping out of my brain. When I finished it I immediately thought "okay! What's next?" There was no reflection, no... anything. I was just done.

I think one of the reasons I felt this way is because I think this book is meant for younger readers. The main characters are 15 and 16, but I could see this as being a good book for those "almost teens." Kind of upper-middle grade. And middle grade is just not my thing.

Post-apocalypse and dystopia books are really blooming right now, and there are those that stand up above the rest (Blood Red Road) and there are those that fall in the cracks. This was the latter. A very simple, straight-forward story. With very simple, commonplace characters. If you've got a young teen or preteen that you'd like to introduce to the post-apocalypse genre, this would be a good one for them. If you're a veteran of these kind of books and are looking for something that'll knock your socks off, I'd skip this one.

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

*I am an amazon affiliate. If you purchase this book using my link, I will get a tiny fraction of the purchase, which goes toward contests.

Grammar, a lost art?

This is a post all about my pet peeves. So if you're in an irritable mood... I wouldn't read this. This is an opinion post. Please respect my right to an opinion, even if you disagree. I'm not trying to insult anyone, but I am going to talk about things that bother me.

Am I the only person who has noticed that written English has taken a spectacular dive since the influx of texting and the Internet? Suddenly there are wild and crazy abbreviations (most of which don't make any sense) and capitalization and punctuation are a thing of the past.

I was recently tweeting with fellow blogger Emily about a comment she got on her blog. The comment began:

And then continued in a similar manner.

WTFreak? Is this person trying to be ironic? Do they know that's not how you spell "first"? Also, what's up with the all caps? Yes, I understand that you're angry. But do you know that you'll come off a lot angrier if you select only CERTAIN words to put in all caps?

But there is the other extreme:
i love this post haha it just looks so cool n interesting haha n i really want to read all those books haha and i think ur supernifty haha ne way i just wanted 2 let u no.

Um... do you know that I is always capitalized? And why do you keep "haha"-ing? Are you a villain? Do you laugh maniacally? And why is it that "haha" has taken the place of punctuation? This is all one big sentence.

Granted, most of you are very literate people, and your comments are quite readable. However, I do occasionally get a comment like those illustrated above and I just kind of... stare. I honestly want to know: do these people know how grammatically incorrect their comments are? Is this some kind of youth-protest? Or are there people out there that really think that's how you type?

For example, let's talk abbreviations. Oh boy. First if all "NE" is only ONE LETTER off from "any." Is it really that much hard to just type "any"? And "N." Since when is "N" an abbreviation for "and"? And isn't "&" just as easy? I'm okay with some abbreviations. Like, BTW. This is for three separate words: By The Way. And it's significantly easier to type BTW. But I feel like if you're typing "NE1", then you're just crying for attention.

Now let's look at punctuation. First of all, the period is dead. I have decided this. When people use punctuation, it's either ! or ?! and sometimes a solitary ?. Which is fine. We're just a society of constantly surprised/excited/confused people. I find myself overusing all of these. I'm especially fond of the ?! one.

However, when people do use periods, they use them like this ". . ." Do you know what those are called? Those are ellipses, and they have specified uses. You can't just toss them around willy nilly into a sentence! I feel like ellipses are really abused. Ellipses (as far as I am aware) are used for omissions, pauses in thought, and sometimes to lead you onto the next idea. There is a DREADFUL use of ellipses that I pass on the freeway almost every day:

What IS this?! Is it omitting something? Pretty sure it's not. Really, whoever made this didn't know how to use an ellipse. Every time I pass this billboard, I feel the need to say it out loud. It goes something like this:

Me: I used to Sizzler with my Dad. Now my...

[Insert 5-10 secont pause, then scream:]


And there are tons of people who just seem to neurotically use ellipses when they write e-mails, FaceBook posts, and blog comments. I don't even think I can create an example for you, because I'm not sure what the thought process behind this is.

I know that I'm certainly not perfect when it comes to proper gramatticallizing stuff. I'm a math major. I don't use words a lot. That's one of the reasons I love blogging. It forces me to write, when I otherwise wouldn't write at all. I struggle with spelling sometimes, and I wonder if spelling will become a lost art now that we have spell check (which I adore). I also know that I have a tendency to over-italicize and I REALLY overuse commas. I didn't know what the purpose of a semicolon was until high school. But no one really seems to use those anyway.

But even though I'm not perfect, I'm not terrible. I know the difference between than and then. I know FANBOYS (though I don't use it as much as I should). I always try to use proper spelling, capitalization, and punctuation in texting, on twitter, and when commenting on blogs. And I did get 34 and 36 on the English and Reading portions of the ACT, respectively.

I still use BTW, and BRB, and G2G. I still randomly switch into ALL CAPS. But that's 'cause I'm doing it for a purpose. There's meaning behind my madness. And sometimes I get a comment on my blog/YouTube and I just don't know if that person realizes how crazy they sound.

Do you think this has anything to do with texting/Internet? These grammar-less people seem to still be in the minority, but is it spreading? Do you think something like Twitter (which forces you to stay under 140 characters) is making it worse? And the really big question:

Does it matter?

Should we care that there are people like this? Or is this just the direction language is going? No one says "thee" and "thou" anymore. Did the olden-times people mourn the loss of that? I don't know. As I've said a million times before: I'm no expert. I'm just a girl with a computer.

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

The Princess and the Hound-- Mette Ivie Harrison

Release Date: May 1st, 2007
Genre:  Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: EOS (HarperTeen)
Pages: 410
Amazon Link*: Click Here
Goodreads Page: Click here
He is a prince, heir to a kingdom threatened on all sides, possessor of the animal magic, which is forbidden by death in the land he'll rule.

She is a princess from a rival kingdom, the daughter her father never wanted, isolated from true human friendship but inseparable from her hound.

Though they think they have little in common, each possesses a secret that must be hidden at all costs. Proud, stubborn, bound to marry for the good of their kingdoms, this prince and princess will steal your heart, but will they fall in love?
Review: I've had this book on my shelf nearly since it came out, but picked it up this month because it's Utah author month! Hurrah!

The beginning of this book (and sometimes throughout) reminded me a lot of The Goose Girl. The "animal magic" is very similar to Ani's "animal speech." The Princess and the Hound was similar enough to The Goose Girl that I warmed to it instantly, but not so similar that I wanted to compare them.

The writing in this book is beautiful. Full of wonderful ideas, prose, and descriptions. The problem I had with it is that I kept feeling like I was missing things. I don't know if I just wasn't reading into the text deep enough, or maybe some things were worded in such a way that I got something different from it, but I just felt... confused. The prince jumped to a lot of conclusions, and I wasn't sure how he'd gotten there.

For instance, I TOTALLY missed when he fell in love. One moment he's acting all awkward, and then he proclaims "I love you!" I had to do a double take. I flipped back a few pages, wondering when and how he'd had this sudden realization. I still haven't figured it out.

I found that what I needed to do was just let my mind relax. If I let myself get hung up on all the little details it would drive me crazy. But if I just let the story flow, it all seemed to make sense. Kinda like original fairy-tales. Those stories usually have so many plot-gaps and holes that if you try to analyze it, it doesn't make any sense. But if you take a step back you can see the meaning. This story follows the tradition of fairy tales in that way. Which is good, 'cause I love fairy tales. Have I made that clear yet?

So even though there was definitely some confusing moments in this book, I still really enjoyed it and the lore behind it. That, and the beautiful writing, make this book definitely worth reading. I've heard that the next two books get better and better. I'll be sure to let you know. EDIT: I'm reading The Princess and the Bear right now and I already LOVE it. Honestly. So good. I hope it stays this good.

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

*I am an amazon affiliate. If you purchase this book using my link, I will get a tiny fraction of the purchase, which goes toward contests.

On writing negative reviews

Today I'm going to talk about one of the HARDEST things in book blogging: negative reviews.

Negative reviews have always been particularly hard for me because I have an insatiable need to be liked. If someone ever gives me the slightest impression that they don't like me, I instantly assume the "tail between my legs" posture. Head down, shoulders slumped, maybe some slight whimpering. I hate it.

To compensate for this, I often find myself being very hard-skinned. I pretend that things don't bother me and that I don't care about what people think.

To compensate for that, I'm always very careful about how I word things. If I want to be rude, I'll be rude, but I generally try to keep things polite and considerate. (Because remember that I need people to like me) This works pretty well for me in my real life because I have always been a very good public speaker.

This doesn't work so well for me in blogging. When you write something, you can't add the emphasis you want as delicately as you can while speaking. This is why I italicize a lot of things, in the vain hope that you will understand what I'm trying to get across.

Negative reviews are just a part of blogging. You aren't going to like every book you read. There are some bloggers who choose not to review books they didn't like, but I don't think that's quite fair. If all I ever see online are positive reviews, I'm going to read the book. But what if there are even more people who didn't like the book, but I'll never know because they never posted?! No. It just doesn't work.

When I first started blogging I wasn't afraid to just come out and say "This book sucked." But over the last year or two I've had a revelation that I am under absolutely NO authority to say that. Who am I to judge the character of a book?! No one! I'm some random girlish-woman who likes to read. Not a librarian. Not a publisher. Not even a professional critic. I created a website, and started typing.

If a book is published, that means someone loved it enough for it to see the light of day. That person may be an agent; an editor; or, in the case of self-pubs, an author! Someone loved this book so much that they wanted the whole world to be able to read it. Therefore, who has the right to murder a book by a bad review? No one! Just because you and I aren't friends doesn't mean I'm going to sneak into your room at night and stab you to death!

Therefore, I've started trying my hardest to make sure that people understand that when I write negative reviews I am writing purely from my own perspective. Is everyone going to feel the same way I did? Absolutely not! Will one of my readers read and [hopefully] love the book? Probably!

In all of my negative reviews I always try to include one thing that's positive. For example, in my review of Die for Me I was sure to mention how much I loved the original paranormal twist. And I was also sure to mention that this book came into my hands at a very bad time, when I was coming to the end of my paranormal romance rope. I thought I managed to balance the fact that I didn't like it, but it was still a book worthy of someone's love.

But later that day, my mom told me "Wow. You really didn't like that book."

And that's when I realized that all my efforts might be in vain. Despite the fact that I desperately try to remain kind and courteous while writing a negative review, it is still a negative review. And if people want to see compliments as patronizing, kindness as sarcasm, or gentleness as polished-cruelty, then they're going to! And since you're reading this and not speaking to me face-to-face, my intent could be easily missed. People read into things what they want to. What's important is what you mean.

Therefore, I'm writing this post so that I can link it in my future negative reviews. If you want to believe that I'm trying to be mean or cruel to a book, then there's nothing I can do to stop you. But with all the finality in my body, I declare that I am always trying to be the nicest person I can be. And if I mean to be rude, you won't be able to miss it, but that's a rarity.

However, I am also striving to be as honest as I can be, and therefore I can't just pretend to like everything I read. Some books won't be up my alley. Just because that's true, doesn't mean no one else will like them. Perhaps someone will read my review, and my negativity prompts them to pick up the book. Who knows?!

Negative reviews are hard. They're especially hard when they're for a book by an author you love, or if you want every author to be your best friend (*points at self*). The important thing is to stay true to yourself. For me, myself is someone who wants to be liked, wants to be nice, but also wants to be honest. And that's how I write my reviews, good and bad. Is it easy? NO! I'm terrified every time I post a negative review. But it's what's right for me.

And if you don't like it you're welcome to leave a rude comment, just know that I will then spend the next hour hiding in a corner.

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

**Blood Red Road-- Moira Young

Release Date: June 7th, 2011
Genre:  Post-apocalyptic
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Pages: 512
Amazon Link*: Click Here
Goodreads Page: Click here
Series: Dustlands #1
Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That's fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba's world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back.

Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she's a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.

Blood Red Road has a searing pace, a poetically minimal writing style, violent action, and an epic love story. Moira Young is one of the most promising and startling new voices in teen fiction.
Review: I usually don't include the parts of summaries that say things like "Blood Red Road has a searing pace" etc. etc. since those often seem to be more the opinion of the summary-writer than the truth. But it's important to note the line "a poetically minimal writing style." This is one of those books where there are no quotation marks, and everything is written phonetically. If you've read The Knife of Never Letting Go, the spelling in this book is similar.

At first I was really daunted by this. I wasn't sure if I could handle 500+ pages of no quotation marks and weird spellings. And I'll admit that it did take me a while to read the first 50 pages because I kept going back to make sure I was reading things right. But that's about when the "searing pace" kicked in.

This book flies by. Honestly, I was flipping pages so fast I nearly set fire to the book. It takes nearly 250 pages for Saba to team up with her "handsome daredevil," but it easily seemed like half that. Moira has created a world so gripping that I honestly felt like I could look around and see what Saba was seeing.

A lot of that has to do with the fact that Saba has such an interesting way of seeing the world! She describes her surroundings and the people around her in such a way that you really understand her. It's like when a child looks up at a jet-trail and describes it as "a scar in the sky." You've never thought of it that way, and the child didn't mean to be deep, but it's poetically brilliant. Saba doesn't mean to be deep, but she is, and that makes it all the more wonderful.

Also, I LOVE the ending to this book. Moira doesn't depend on some dramatic cliffhanger to make people feel like OH MY GOSH I HAVE TO HAVE THE SEQUEL RIGHT NOW!!!!! Instead, there's just enough resolved and left unresolved to make you happy to read the next book, not desperate. Quite the feat.

There is mild profanity, and quite a bit of violence. That, along with the fact that the narrator is 18, makes this a book for older teens (Maybe... 15+? But that's up to you and your standards).

The world of Blood Red Road is horrifying, beautiful, heart-wrenching, and hopeful. Truly a masterpiece.

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

*I am an amazon affiliate. If you purchase this book using my link, I will get a tiny fraction of the purchase, which goes toward contests.
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