Review: Material Girls by Elaine Dimopoulos

Sonntag, 29. März 2015

Material Girls by Elaine Dimopoulos
Published: May 5th 2015 by HMH Books for Young Readers
Number of Pages: 336 Pages (Hardcover)
Series: No

   In Marla Klein and Ivy Wilde’s world, teens are the gatekeepers of culture. A top fashion label employs sixteen-year-old Marla to dictate hot new clothing trends, while Ivy, a teen pop star, popularizes the garments that Marla approves. Both girls are pawns in a calculated but seductive system of corporate control, and both begin to question their world’s aggressive levels of consumption. Will their new “eco-chic” trend subversively resist and overturn the industry that controls every part of their lives?
   Smart, provocative, and entertaining, this thrilling page-turner for teens questions the cult like mentality of fame and fashion. Are you in or are you out?

* I was given an eARC by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review *

   Material Girls is a quite unique spin on the dystopian genre. It focuses greatly on fashion and a dystopian society in which your life is dictated by the "Tap" and what clothes you are wearing, if they are trendy (prime) or not.
   I have to admit that it took me roughly 50-60% of the book to really get into the story and start to actually care about the characters. The beginning of the book features various quite long descriptions of what everybody is wearing and if it follows the current or previous trend. Personally I don't care much about what is currently trendy nor do I really know many of the names for various clothing items which meant that I was just skipping paragraphs as I didn't really care who is wearing what.
   The basic idea behind Material Girls, that the big fashion houses, the so called Big Five, rule the market and do with their workers whatever they so want to do, without shying away from drastic measures like drugging you to get you to agree to their agenda, was quite interesting and definitely quite different from the usually governmental oppression which we can find in most dystopian novels. Also it had this very realistic feel to it due to the fact that, thanks to Marla, one of the two protagonists, we got to see "the basement", the place in the fashion house where the designs are created and drawn, which had a very sweatshop like look and feel to it.

   Another problem that I had with the story was the naive level it had due to the way it was written and the quite young age of the protagonists, which were merely 16 years old. Also, for me personally, it was quite hard to accept the very shallow way in which people looked at each other, judging each other by their clothes and position. This was very nicely shown by Marla's mother who, when Marla was moved from her position in the Supreme Court (the court that decides which clothing item will be featured in the upcoming line or not) to the basement, wanted to persuade Marla to quick her job all together and wait until she can start a family because that's her fate anyways so might as well do it now instead of working in a shameful position. Also the romance in this book didn't really have any build up, it just happened which I found a bit unnecessary. Personally I think the small romance aspect could have easily been left out.

   Marla and Ivy, the two protagonists, were interesting characters in their own way. Marla was more of a creative soul which found herself once she accepted her new path of working in the basement and being part of a group that wanted something more, while Ivy is a Pop Star who slowly starts to realize just how fake and disgusting the entertainment business is in terms of fake relationships, unneeded shopping tours for insane amounts of money and playing the role of someone you are not.
   Both of them tried to fight for a better world in which fashion would be more fair and in which the heads of the corporations wouldn't have the power anymore to treat their workers badly.

   My last issue thatI had with Material Girls was the ending which felt somewhat rushed and too light and easy for my taste. I would have wished for something more serious and less "happily ever after". Also the ending for Ivy felt very unsatisfying and almost made me feel like I just wasted my time with reading her part of the story because it didn't really lead anywhere in the end. As much as Marla has learned from what has happened over the course of the story, Ivy didn't seem like she learned anything at all. I think that was quite disappointing and sad.

   All in all, Material Girls was an entertaining read once you really get into the story and the action starts. One thing you have to be aware of, before going into it, is that fashion is very important in this world so if you are not really into it and don't have much knowledge of it like I do, you might find getting into the story a bit hard. But, if you get past the first 35% of the book you'll be rewarded with more exciting events and fun things. Material Girls is unique in its own way and presents a very "girly" version of the future which, in itself, could show a actually more possible version of our own future.
I give Material Girls by Elaine Dimopoulos 3 out of 5 Stars.

Ask the Author: Jennifer Niven (All the Bright Places)

Samstag, 28. März 2015

   Hey guys!
   I am very exited to share this weeks Ask the Author with you guys. I had the pleasure of asking the very lovely Jennifer Niven, author of All the Bright Places, a couple of questions, nine to be exact. It took me a while to come up with them but they are nothing compared to the beautiful and honest answers she gave me.
   Here is her book and her interview:

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Number of Pages:
Series: No
Buy it: Book Depository

~ Free worldwide shipping ~

   Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.
   Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.
   When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.
   This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven.

Interview with Jennifer Nieven

    1 – Describe All the Bright Places in form of a haiku/or six adjectives.
    Here’s my haiku attempt:

With all the colors
in one at full brightness, they
wander. Not lost. Found.

   2 – Before writing All the Bright Places you wrote novels for adults. Why did you decide to write YA and what lead you to writing a story which deals with as heavy, though still important to be talked and read about, topics such as teenage mental health?
   I love to read YA and have always wanted to write it. When I was thinking of story ideas, I kept coming back to an event in my own life and a boy I used to know. I’d always wanted to write about it and him, but was never sure I’d be able to. Back then, through that experience, I felt firsthand the stigma associated with mental disorders—both from the boy’s perspective and from mine—and I realized that we need to make people feel safe enough to come forward and say, “I have a problem. I need help.” If we don’t talk about suicide or depression or mental illness, how can we expect anyone to reach out for help when they need it most?

   3 – How much research went into All the Bright Places and how important was it for you to depict Finch’s bipolar in a truthful manner?
   While I did do some research into mental illness/depression—which included speaking with experts—in many ways, I really just wrote the story I knew. Years ago, I knew and loved a boy, and that boy was bipolar. I witnessed up-close the highs and lows, the Awake and the Asleep, and I saw his daily struggle with the world and with himself. As for Violet, she is struggling with loss, and that is something I know too well. I’ve lost both my parents, all four grandparents, and numerous other family members and friends, so loss is something I know inside and out.

   4 – When you were deciding on where All the Bright Places should play, why did you decide upon Indiana? How important was it for you to show some of the things Indiana has to offer?
   I grew up in Indiana and went to high school there. Because of that, it felt like the most natural setting for my high school story. When I was living there, I—like Violet—thought it was ugly and boring. My mom used to tell me, “Just remember, what’s ugly to you is beautiful to other people.” I couldn’t imagine Indiana could be beautiful to anyone, but she made me stop and at least try to look at it differently. All these years later, I have this newfound appreciation for growing up there, and I thought it would be great (and important) for Finch to help Violet see their state in a new light.

   5 – Writing a book as long as All the Bright Places can, depending on the author, take a year or more, how did you manage to write it in just six weeks?
   Finch’s voice came out pretty much fully formed, as if he’d been waiting for me to write him. Violet took a bit more work, but for the most part, the writing of the story just flowed. I like to say it’s the book I’ve been carrying around inside of me for some time, but didn’t put on paper until 2013.

   6 – Are you happy with the cover the book has received?
   Yes! Omg I love it! By the time Random House showed it to me, they had been working on it for months and had gone through many, many different versions. The final cover is very similar to the one they first showed me. I love how different it is from a lot of other books. I think it stands out. :)

   7 – Mild or Spicy?
   Somewhere in between.

   8 – If you were forced to participate in The Hunger Games, as female from District 12, what would be your strategy? Fight or flight?
   Hmm… I think it would really depend on the situation. I supposed I’d fight if I absolutely had to, but I’d prefer flight—not in a cowardly way but in a super-stealthy, Katniss sort of way.

   9 – In terms of YA books, what comes next? Are you working on something?
   As soon as I finish touring, I’m going to work hard on my next YA novel. It’s about a boy who can’t recognize faces and a very visible girl who feels invisible. It’s about seeing, being seen, and learning to recognize what’s important. It’s about what makes us love someone.

About the Author

   By the time I was ten, I had already written numerous songs, a poem for Parker Stevenson ("If there were a Miss America for men, You would surely win"), two autobiographies (All About Me and My Life in Indiana: I Will Never Be Happy Again), a Christmas story, several picture books (which I illustrated myself) featuring the Doodle Bugs from Outer Space, a play about Laura Ingalls Wilder's sister entitled Blindness Strikes Mary, a series of prison mysteries, a collection of short stories featuring me as the main character (an internationally famous rock star detective), and a partially finished novel about Vietnam. I was also an excellent speller from a very early age.
   In 2000, I started writing full-time, and I haven't stopped... I've written eight books (two of those are forthcoming), and when I'm not working on the ninth, I'm contributing to my web magazine, Germ (, thinking up new books, and dabbling in TV. I am always writing.

Ask the Author: Temple West (Velvet)

Samstag, 21. März 2015

   Hey guys!
   This week on Ask the Author I have YA Paranormal author Temple West. Her debut novel, Velvet, is said to hit the stores on May 12th.
   Here is her book and the interview:

Velvet by Temple West
Published: May 12th 2015 by Swoon Reads
Number of Pages: 416 pages (Paperback)
Series: No

   First rule of dealing with hot vampire bodyguards? Don't fall in love.
   After losing both her parents before age seventeen, aspiring designer Caitlin Holte feels like her whole world has been turned upside down, and that was before the terrifying encounter with a supernatural force. Then, she learns that her hot bad-boy neighbor, Adrian—who might have just saved her life—is actually a half-demon vampire.
   Suddenly Caitlin is stuck with a vampire bodyguard who feels that the best way to protect her is to become her pretend boyfriend. Trouble is, Caitlin is starting to fall in love for real, while Adrian can never love a human. Caitlin trusts Adrian to keep her safe from his demon father, but will he be able to protect her heart? (

Interview with Temple West 

   1 – Describe Velvet with six adjectives.
   Saucy. Smoochy. Funny. Serious. Mythical.

   2 – In a genre as crowded as paranormal, especially the Vampire department, how hard is it to stand out? And in what way do you think does Velvet stand out and offer something that should make people want to read it even more?
   This is an excellent question and one that I can only answer with a bit of a bias, since all writers think their own work is pure genius and indubitably original. That being said, I think Velvet stands out in its portrayal of young friendship, young love, and the struggle to grow up and mature and become your own person. In addition, I tailored my mythology to fit the world I created. For instance, the vampires in Velvet diverge from traditional vampire mythology (or biology) in some ways, while maintaining the spirit and allure of traditional vampirism in others. Also -- and I can't say too much here because it has to do with books 2 and 3 -- anyone who may draw parallels between Velvet and other YA vampire novels should stick around because I promise the series goes somewhere that I don't think I've seen in another vampire franchise.

   3 – What’s the thing you like most about Caitlin, the protagonist of Velvet, and least about Adrian, the hot-bad boy neighbor?
   Caitlin is passionate. She fails hard, a lot, but she feels things deeply and cares deeply and sticks up for herself, or rather, she's at least learning that she can stick up for herself. She starts out pretty rough, hostile even, but she grows exponentially as a character.
   Adrian is the opposite: steady, predictable, studious, almost placid. While he, too, feels things deeply -- very deeply, actually -- it's buried much further under the surface. It's harder for him to emote, to relate, to interact on anything more than the shallowest social level. As he spends more time with Caitlin, that begins to shift, and he doesn't entirely know what to do about it.

   4 – Caitlin is an aspiring designer, who are her favorite designers and why?
   This is a hard question! Mostly because I tried to strike a balance in the book between mentioning real things and places and people, and leaving some things ambiguous because social references don't always age well in novels. If I had to pick a real-life designer, it'd probably be Coco Chanel. Caitlin's got a classic edge to her style, while also being modern.

   5 - How long did it take you from first idea until publishing deal?
   It took 6 months to write the first draft, back when I was 19 and a freshman in college. I tinkered with the manuscript on and off for the next five years. I was 24 when I learned it had been chosen for publication, and I'm 25 now that it's actually hitting shelves, so about 5-6 years.

   6 - How do you feel about the fact that in only a few more months thousands of readers will be able to hold and read your debut novel?
   Is it weird if I say I'm not sure? Honestly, it still doesn't seem real. I think when I can finally walk into a bookstore and hold a copy in my hands I'll be just unbearably happy.

   7 – What’s your writing routine? Write daily or when inspiration hits?
   I am slowly teaching myself to develop routines, but I've traditionally very much been an inspiration-strikes type of writer.

   8 – Book adaptations – movie or TV series?
   I'd say it depends on how long the book series is. Outlander, Game of Thrones, and The Vampire Diaries all seem to be benefitting from the long-term television format. It lets the story breathe and grow and stretch and cover the most amount of the original material. However, I couldn't imagine something like The Hunger Games or even Twilight as a TV show. I think if it's 3 books or less, they should be movies, 4 books or more should be considered for television. Although Harry Potter definitely breaks that rule, so, hmm...perhaps location has something to do with it. Is the world cinematic, or fairly normal, etc. Although shoot, Game of Thrones breaks that rule!

   9 – What are your 3 favorite books and why?
   "Daughter of Smoke and Bone" by Laini Taylor because it's hands-down the best YA dialogue I have EVER read. Also, her world-building is just so phenomenally different from everything else in paranormal or fantasy YA that it blows me away. Incredible writer.
   "The Lies of Locke Lamora" would be perhaps my favorite book of all time. It's not YA, but it is the most satisfying novel I've ever read. The plot was so carefully and intricately constructed, the dialogue had me literally laughing out loud, the world felt complete and rich and detailed, and I cared deeply about the characters. I think I've read it 5 times. It's amazing.
   I don't even think I can choose a 3rd book. There are too many.

   10 - If you were forced to participate in The Hunger Games, as female from District 12, what would be your strategy? Fight or flight?

   I'd definitely be one of the creeping-around-hiding-in-trees sorts of people. Hide to survive!

About the Author

   Temple West, debut author of the YA paranormal romance Velvet, is as nerdy in real life as she is on the Twitter. Armed with a very shiny English degree, she spent four months in Oxford holed up at the Radcliffe Camera amongst the hush of ancient books and the rich musk of academia. Returning to Los Angeles, she acquired a concurrent degree in film, mostly as an excuse to write essays about The Princess Bride and Hook. She can sew (poorly), drive stick (please fasten your seatbelt), and mostly lift her feet off the ground while stuttering into first gear on a very small motorcycle. She currently lives in Seattle and is the proud mother to a one-year-old laptop and a vintage Remington typewriter.
   She loves getting questions on Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and her website (or on Goodreads), so don't be afraid to submit a question!

Ask the Author: Lily Paradis (Ignite and Volition)

Samstag, 14. März 2015

   Hey guys!
   This week on Ask the Author I have the lovely Lily Paradis, author of Ignite and Volition, for you guys. I read and reviewed Ignite back in January and already started reading Volition, which I quite enjoy so far, so of course I had to ask her for an interview!
Here are her books and her answers:

Ignite by Lily Paradise
Published: August 26th 2014 by Empire Books
Number of Pages: 326 Pages (Paperback)
Series:Yes, #1

   After her father’s untimely demise in a mining accident and her mother’s abandonment, Lauren Lindsay is no stranger to loss. She’s used to living life for one person: herself. That is, until another family tragedy thrusts three children into her care and uproots her life in ways she could never imagine.
   Lauren's first instinct is to run, until she meets their striking, mysterious neighbor Dean Powell. Their immediate chemistry and his connection with her late father just might be enough to keep her in town long enough to uncover pieces of her past that she never had answers to. Dean’s shady past and her reluctance to trust him could cost her the life she's always been searching for, but will she run back to her old life?
   Or will she choose to stay and live the life her father always imagined for her?

Volition by Lily Paradis
Published: January 16th 2015 by Empire Books
Number of Pages: 396 Pages (Paperback)
Series: No

   You know that feeling in the pit of your stomach that stays with you, then tears you apart slowly at first, and all at once shreds every fiber of your being?
   It’s because you’re contradicting the universe.
   Everything lines up so perfectly that you couldn’t have imagined it to work out better, but then you have to go and do everything humanly possible to ruin it because you can’t stand to have it go right?
   That’s what I did.
   I did it because there’s a darkness that surrounds me, and I think I want it there.
   My name is Tate McKenna, and my soul is blacker than my heart.

Interview with Lily Paradise

   1 – Could you tell us a little something about your two books, Ignite and Volition?
   Sure! I guess I would classify them both as YA/NA Contemporaries. I say YA because they don't contain anything too explicit, but NA because I like to write about characters in their late teens/early twenties! They are both extremely different in nature. Read Ignite if you're looking for something fluffier, and Volition if you want something that will make you think.

   2 – Volition, and its protagonist Tate McKenna, are more on the ‘dark type of story’ side, where did you get the idea for it from?
   I got the idea from my own personality, as selfish as that sounds. I was tired of seeing female characters as tropes. I wrote Lauren in Ignite as a typical (ish) main character that you'd see in a popular book. Some people reacted well to her, but the ones who didn't like her inspired me to write Tate. Before I wrote Volition I felt like I had to write books that would fit in and sell. I didn't write what I wanted, I wrote what I thought everyone else would want. So then I decided to write a main character who had thoughts like I did and acted more like me, and Tate McKenna was born.

   3 – What made you ultimately decide that you do want to publish Volition, despite your doubts?
   The foreword can probably explain this better than I can, but a good friend of mine really connected with Tate after many, many beta readers did not. I was afraid people were not going to like this book because it wasn't the fluffy, air-head kind of stuff that can be popular right now. Tate wasn't giving and wonderful and oh-so deserving of a man. No. She's the darker part of all of us that we like to pretend doesn't exist. I wanted people to relate to that, and to my surprise, they did!

   4 – How long did it take you to write Ignite and Volition? Which took you longer and why?
   I honestly don't know because I don't remember when I started writing Ignite officially. They took probably around the same amount of time. It takes me forever to write a book anyway because (at the time) I was getting my undergraduate degree, and now I'm in graduate school. I wish it was my full time job! That's up to you all, so please tell your friends! :)

   5 – You are currently working on Ragnarök which is a very different type of story compared to Ignite and Volition, which were both contemporary novels. Could you maybe tell us a little bit about it?
   Well, Ragnarök looks like it's different, and it is, but it's not as different as it seems. It's an end of the world novel, as you can tell by the title. But it's not fantasy, and it's not really science fiction. It's not even too far into the dystopian genre, but its not contemporary either. I literally have no idea where to put this book, and people are going to want a genre. I still haven't come up with what to call it. It's going to have "before" and "after" chapters, so I suppose you could call the "before" chapters Contemporary? I'm not fully finished with it yet so I don't want to say too much just in case I change things. I can tell you that Rafe Kiley is going to be your new book boyfriend. Originally this book had four different perspectives but I split it up into two books. The second one will be called Leviathan!

   6 – How did you feel when the first reviews for Ignite came in?
   I think I was honestly just more in shock that people were reading words I'd written. It was surreal! Of course it was hard when reviews bashed the editing because I'd had such an issue with that company (you can read more in a blog post on my website) but overall, I was just really happy that people were (for the most part) enjoying something I'd written.

   7 – What is your process for deciding on a book title? Do they change over the course of writing?
   Once I decide on a title, it stays. I usually even decide before I start writing it. I really like strong, one-word titles. I also like them to have a lot of meaning regarding what the content of the novel is! If you ever can't figure out why I decided to use a certain title, google the definition and think about the novel. I never pick randomly.

   8 – Do you have a specific writing schedule or do you write whenever inspiration hits you?
   I don't have a schedule because I'm so busy with classes, but I find writing at night works best for me. That's when my mind is most creative - when I'm about to fall asleep! I also have an issue where I can't FORCE myself to write. It all just comes out terrible, and I should probably work on that.

   9 – Coffee or Tea?
   I love both! Probably coffee, though.

   10 – What are your three favorite authors and, if you’d run into them on the street, what would you say or ask them?
   My three favorites are Garth Nix, Cormac McCarthy (No Country for Old Men and The Road are my favorites), and Meg Cabot. Interesting trio, I know. I'm pretty sure I'd just fangirl. Kind of like if I ever met Leonardo DiCaprio.

   11 – If you’d be forced to participate in The Hunger Games, as female from District 12, what would be your strategy? Fight or flight?
   I'd like to think that I'd channel my inner Tate, fight, and win the whole thing. Hmmm... maybe I should write that for fun...

About the Author

   Lily lives with her family and loves reading, running, and hiking. Although she's a Colorado native, New York City is her favorite place in the world and fosters her borderline unhealthy obsession with the Empire State Building and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Ignite is her debut novel.
   She loves hearing from her readers and can be reached at
   Find more information at
   Send Mail (And get a letter back!)
   P.O. Box 270514 Louisville, CO 80027

Review: For the Record by Charlotte Huang

Donnerstag, 12. März 2015

For the Record by Charlotte Huang
Expected publication: November 10th 2015 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Number of Pages: X
Series: No

   Chelsea thought she knew what being a rock star was like . . . until she became one. After losing a TV talent show, she slid back into small-town anonymity. But one phone call changed everything.
   Now she’s the lead singer of the band Melbourne, performing in sold-out clubs every night and living on a bus with three gorgeous and talented guys. The bummer is that the band barely tolerates her. And when teen hearthrob Lucas Rivers take an interest in her, Chelsea is suddenly famous, bringing Melbourne to the next level—not that they’re happy about that. Her feelings for Beckett, Melbourne’s bassist, are making life even more complicated.
   Chelsea only has the summer tour to make the band—and their fans—love her. If she doesn’t, she’ll be back in Michigan for senior year, dying a slow death. The paparazzi, the haters, the grueling schedule . . . Chelsea believed she could handle it. But what if she can’t?

* I recieved an eARC of For the Record from Random House in exchance for a honest review *

   I have so much love for this book and I am beyond happy I got the chance to read it five months prior to its publication. This book just truly has it all: a rock band composed on fun and different characters, a cute Hollywood movie star, the love for music and an outstandingly fun main character, Chelsea, who spreads her wings as lead singer of Melbourne.
   Charlotte Huang did an amazing job at capturing the different emotions that go through Chelsea as she experiences her first concerts and everything that belongs to being the new kid in town, or rather the new girl in the band. And I love the fact that she didn't just do that in the first twenty pages and then forgot about it, but rather that it took her the entirety of the book to develop confidence in what she does and finding her place in this entirely new world she finds herself in.

   Chelsea is a great main character and story narrator. Her thoughts and descriptions of her emotions are very clear and seem real, like they would belong to someone who went through all that she went through. She is fun and she has a personality. She isn't just a bleak character who just seems to exist and do whatever the author wants her to do, but rather like a layered character with flaws and traits which make her the person she is. All her decisions fit her personality and way of thinking.
   The other guys in the band, Pam, Malcom and Beckett are a lot of fun and they are all unique and different. Pam is more of a grumpy cat, Malcom like one who likes groupies and Beckett the guy you'd like to hang out with and talk about music for hours. I enjoyed them as characters a lot and it was really hard to say goodbye to them once the book was over.

   Another thing that makes this book great and stands out is the degree of insight we get to see into the life of a rock band, of the life on tour and how it feels to be the one on stage and not in the crowd. It perfectly captured the dynamics of the band and how crazy life can get when you are in the spotlight, when you are the one with thousands of fans who watch every step you take and gossip knows your secrets before you know them.

   All in all I think this book was amazing, fun and felt incredibly real, which is always a big plus. For the Record is exciting, fun and filled with endearing characters which will make saying goodbye to the book surprisingly hard.
   I think this book is definitely something for those who always dreamed of being a rock star themselves or wondered how life on tour must feel like. I recommend it to, basically, everybody because it's great and something like a fan girls dream come true.
I give For the Record by Charlotte Huang 5 out of 5 rock stars.

Ask the Author: Lindsay Cummings (The Murder Complex)

Samstag, 7. März 2015

   Hey guys!
   I'm super excited about this weeks Ask the Author because I have the lovely Lindsay Cummings, author of The Murder Complex and The Death Code, for you. First let's have a look at her novel, The Murder Complex, and then the interview. Enjoy!
The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings
Published: June 10th 2014 by Greenwillow Books
Number of Pages: 398 pages (Hardcover)
Series: Yes, #1 in The Murder Complex Series
Buy it: Book Depository
~ Free worldwide shipping ~

   An action-packed, blood-soaked, futuristic debut thriller set in a world where the murder rate is higher than the birthrate. For fans of Moira Young’s Dust Lands series, La Femme Nikita, and the movie Hanna.
   Meadow Woodson, a fifteen-year-old girl who has been trained by her father to fight, to kill, and to survive in any situation, lives with her family on a houseboat in Florida. The state is controlled by The Murder Complex, an organization that tracks the population with precision.
   The plot starts to thicken when Meadow meets Zephyr James, who is—although he doesn’t know it—one of the MC’s programmed assassins. Is their meeting a coincidence? Destiny? Or part of a terrifying strategy? And will Zephyr keep Meadow from discovering the haunting truth about her family? (

Interview with Lindsay Cummings

   1 - Describe The Murder Complex is 7 words.
   A blood-soaked futuristic thriller in Florida :)

   2 - How did you come up with the idea of creating a future where the murder rate is higher than the birth rate?
   I figured it would just be really, really creepy if that were the case. And sad. Ideas sort of pop into my head. I wish I had a cooler answer for that!

   3 - How long did it take you from first idea until publishing deal? And how many queries did it take until you found 'the one’?
   The first book I wrote got 120 rejections from agents. The Murder Complex was sent to a few agents, and the first one I sent it to, Louise Fury, is still my agent today!

   4 - If Meadow and Zaphyr would be transported into our normal world, how would they react to it? Especially because our reality isn't as bloody and horrifying as theirs seems to be.
   I think they’d be incredibly shocked. And Meadow, probably, would be very very bitter and angry about it. She’d wish her family could have a world like this. Zephyr would settle in—but feel guilty for being there, because he’d think he didn’t deserve it.

   5 - What music, if any, did you listen to while writing The Murder Complex?
   None!! I actually can’t listen to music while I write!

   6 - How much time do you spend on writing on a weekly basis?
   I try to write a little bit every single day! Even if it’s just 200 words.

   7 - Are you a plotter or someone who writes what comes to their mind and edit it all later?
   I usually just write what comes to mind..but lately, I’m having to learn to become a plotter!

   8 - You were a successful book blogger before you became a published author, how did you manage to do both time wise?
   Same way I still do now! I just separate my day into chunks, and do a little of each thing.

   9 - Chocolate or Vanilla?

   10 - If you were forced to participate in The Hunger Games, as female from District 12, what would be your strategy? Fight or flight?
   I’d take a Foxface route, and try to be sneaky. Then, if I survived long enough…I’d fight. And probably die. lol

   11 - What advice would you give aspiring authors?
   Read and Write every single day!!

About the Author

   Lindsay Cummings is the 24-year-old author of THE MURDER COMPLEX series from Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins, and the MG trilogy THE BALANCE KEEPERS, from Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins.

   Lindsay deals with chronic fatigue, can’t get enough of her two pesky German Shepherds, wolf cub, and two horses. She's still waiting on her letter from Hogwarts--it was probably just lost in the mail. You can follow Lindsay on twitter @authorlindsayc