Tag Archives: supernatural

An Interview With Calista Lynne: Author of We Awaken

Today I’m delighted to be sharing my interview with Calista Lynne, whose new title We Awaken was released in July. I was really interested in this book as soon as I’d heard about it, as not only does the magic-laced contemporary story sound really interesting, but this is also one of very few titles I’ve seen out there where asexuality is a main aspect.

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THE BIBLIOMANIAC: Hello! Firstly, could you give a quick overview of your latest book, We Awaken, is about?

CALISTA LYNNE: The main characters in We Awaken are two asexuals in a F/F relationship. One of them is a creator of dreams who helps the other girl try to get into the Manhattan Dance Conservatory. It is YA Magical Realism, so there is a fair amount of conflict and adventure, but at the heart of it all, this is a tale of romance.

30341730Was there anything in particular that sparked the idea for the story?

The characters came from the fact that I wanted to write asexual representation, but the plotline came from a variety of places. Fairytales, a sonnet I never wrote, stories friends told me at parties. I had a friend growing up who had a fake license so she could rent cars underage and go to auditions in the city. Shockingly enough, that led me to make the main character a dancer.

What was your writing process like for We Awaken?

It was a bit more structured than my current writing process. I had long lists of scenes and events and wrote them as chronologically as I could without getting writers block. The first scene that came to me was one in the middle, though, so that was my anchor. There was also a fair amount of screaming at my laptop screen.

Did you always plan on having a supernatural twist in your writing?

I like to pretend that I can write in any genre, but fantastical elements just come to me better. Recently I abandoned two completed drafts of a contemporary romance because it didn’t feel right. Now I’m working on a fantasy and it is coming out so much better. I write whatever plots come to me and, for some reason, they always seem to involve creators of dreams or fairies or something supernatural. It’s not even planned it’s just in my nature, I suppose.calista-lynne

What made me really interested in We Awaken was that your main characters are asexual, which I think should be represented a lot more in YA. Did the asexuality aspect of your novel just happen as you wrote, or did you have the intention of representing minority characters?

I definitely had the intention of including minority characters going in. My goal was to write the novel I wish I had growing up and show that asexuals aren’t broken. I wrote the representation I wanted to see in the media. Although I will admit, originally there was only one asexual character in the book but during rewrites I changed it to two.

And, lastly – do you have any book recommendations?

This is a difficult question! Tragically, I don’t know many books with asexual characters- feel free to send recs my way- so I can’t offer up any titles in that regard, but I do highly recommend every book by Neil Gaiman. American Gods is my personal favorite. Honestly it’s written so cleverly it almost makes me angry. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz is my favorite LGBTQ title. I just recommend you read whatever makes you happy and don’t let anyone give you shit about it.

Thanks very much for visiting the blog, Calista! (And I second the Aristotle and Dante recommendation. That book is beautiful)

Are you interested in We Awaken? You can find more details about it over on Goodreads – and it’s out now from Harmony Ink Press.

 

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book review: Split Second by Kasie West

You can read my review of book one, Pivot Point, by clicking here!

*This review contains spoilers for book one in the synopsis, and slightly in my review!*

Published 11th February 2014 by HarperTeen (US).

15792316Goodreads Synopsis: *synopsis contains spoilers for book one!* Life can change in a split second.
Addie hardly recognizes her life since her parents divorced. Her boyfriend used her. Her best friend betrayed her. She can’t believe this is the future she chose. On top of that, her ability is acting up. She’s always been able to Search the future when presented with a choice. Now she can manipulate and slow down time, too . . . but not without a price.
When Addie’s dad invites her to spend her winter break with him, she jumps at the chance to escape into the Norm world of Dallas, Texas. There she meets the handsome and achingly familiar Trevor. He’s a virtual stranger to her, so why does her heart do a funny flip every time she sees him? But after witnessing secrets that were supposed to stay hidden, Trevor quickly seems more suspicious of Addie than interested in her. And she has an inexplicable desire to change that. Meanwhile, her best friend, Laila, has a secret of her own: she can restore Addie’s memories . . . once she learns how. But there are powerful people who don’t want to see this happen. Desperate, Laila tries to manipulate Connor, a brooding bad boy from school—but he seems to be the only boy in the Compound immune to her charms. And the only one who can help her.
As Addie and Laila frantically attempt to retrieve the lost memories, Addie must piece together a world she thought she knew before she loses the love she nearly forgot . . . and a future that could change everything.

My Review: *contains spoilers for book one in the FIRST paragraph- rest is spoiler free:)* Split Second was such a fantastic sequel! I was so excited about starting it after reading and falling in love with Pivot Point, the previous book, last year. Set after Addie’s huge choice made at the end of Pivot Point, Addie is off for a break from the Compound in the Norm world at her dad’s house. But now, as she’s faced with new, scary difficulties, her friend Laila’s also in a dilemma with her brother.

Split Second is told in the alternating narratives of Addie and Laila. Even though that’s clearly shown, I did get mixed up and got parts confused at first! I think I’m like that at first with a lot of dual narrative books, though. I really did love both girls’ voices. It’s hard to stop reading Split Second- the story and the writing draws you in and doesn’t let you go until the end.

Addie and Laila are a dynamic duo of friends and their voices are both really unique and stand out. They’re both so different but similar at the same time… I’m not sure how to describe their friendship. I just love it way too much! I also really loved the subplot in this story about Laila’s little brother, and I really loved the love interests. All of the characters are so easy to like- obviously except for the not so nice dudes, who I shared hatred with Addie and Laila for!

The plot is completely unpredictable. I couldn’t actually believe that outcome- I’m kind of glad I wasn’t reading this in public because I gasped pretty loudly when that plot twist at the ending was revealed. Argh. It ripped my heart to a million pieces- one thing that you grow to love is… NOT what you think it is. Um… But I’ll shut up now because I really don’t want to spoil it. xD However, it is amazing. I’m always really worried about sequels to brilliant books, but honestly, Kasie West’s Split Second was a really strong sequel and it’s hard not to enjoy it.

Overall, Split Second was a really great read. I loved the plot; it’s unpredictable, and unwinds in a really clever way. Of course, I loved Addie; she’s really easy to relate to, and then Laila is just Laila, and Laila is awesome. (: Kasie West’s writing is addictive, pacy and thrilling; I really can’t wait to read more from her in the future! The only thing that kind of disappointed me is there wasn’t much detail on the Compound and why and how it was started, which was what I guessed this installment might be about. I’m hoping there will be a book three though, and that’s where we’ll find out! Really highly recommended- and make sure to check out Pivot Point (my review here), and read that first before Split Second! (:

My Rating: 


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I received a copy of Split Second from the publisher, in exchange for a review. In no way at all did this affect my thoughts.