Blog Tour, Giveaway, and Review: Sparked

SparkedTour

Sparked CoverSparked
by Helena Echlin and Malena Watrous
Geek & Sundry Publishing
301 Pages
Publication Date: October 3rd, 2017
Get a copy here!

BLURB:

Fifteen-year-old Laurel Goodwin wakes up to find her older sister Ivy missing from their Airstream trailer in the Oregon redwoods. A recurring nightmare convinces her that Ivy was abducted, but no one takes her dream seriously, including her mom. Laurel, a loner, has to learn to ask for help, and Jasper Blake, a mysterious new kid who shares her love of old books, quickly becomes her ally. Together they find their quiet town holds a deep secret and is the epicenter of a dark prophecy.

Laurel soon learns that her worst enemies, mean girls Peyton Andersen and Mei Rosen, are developing powers that she needs to find and save Ivy. With time running out, Laurel realizes that power doesn’t always take the form that you expect. And once she learns to look beyond her snap judgments, she develops an unexpected gift of her own.

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About the Authors:

sparked authors

Hello! We are both novelists, but if you’ve ever tried to write anything, you know that writing can be a lonely, angst-filled business. So one night over a cocktail or two, we came up with a solution: write our next book together. Malena already had an idea: a girl’s sister is kidnapped and she has to rely on mean girls with superpowers to get her sister back. We couldn’t resist seeing where that story would take us – a wild ride that includes a loner girl who wants to be a writer and a gorgeous boy who can shoot fire from his eyes but also loves to talk about books. And an ancient Zoroastrian prophecy. And pie shakes. (OK, so maybe we got a little carried away.)

We’ve both published solo novels (check them out here and here) and had no idea how co-writing would work out, but we pounded out the first draft in a white-hot frenzy of inspiration we called “the Vortex.” One of us would write a scene and send it to the other with a note: “My apartment is a pigsty and I haven’t eaten all day. #inthevortex.” We wrote the book we wanted to read as teenagers: a supernatural thriller with healthy doses of horror and humor. Oh, and of course there’s romance. You have to wait a long time for the only kiss in the book, but isn’t that the case with all the best kisses in books?

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Giveaway:

Giveaway Details:

· Two (2) winner will receive a copy of Sparked by Helena Echlin and Malena Watrous (INT)

CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE GIVEAWAY!


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4Penguins
Quick Reasons: that air of mystery and intrigue got me; super complex plot coupled with unique, if a bit flat, characters; a bad case of insta-love happened here; fast-paced, though a bit unrealistic at times–particularly character reactions

HUGE thanks to Helena Echlin and Malena Watrous, Geek & Sundry Publishing, Edelweiss, and Chapter by Chapter Book Tours for sending a free egalley of this title my way in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

From page one, I was super intrigued–Helena Echlin and Malena Watrous know how to weave an atmosphere of tense mystery so thick, readers are practically swimming in it! The action begins almost immediately and doesn’t let up–even in the “duller” moments that Laurel has, the POV shifts to highlight the danger and happenings surrounding her/her sister.

 

These POV shifts were a bit jarring for me as a reader, though. Because they don’t happen with any real sense of timing or in set intervals, I wasn’t always prepared to be thrust so suddenly into a different character’s head. It also took me a while to figure out that the “dream” chapters also worked as Ivy’s POV–which is a super awesome way to introduce her voice to the mix, in my opinion!

 

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There were quite a few “tropes” rearing their heads on this journey, including “girl hate” and “insta-love.” Many of the characters felt a bit stiff to me, as well–not as well-rounded or real to me. While this was all a bit annoying (I want to KNOW the characters, Penguins!) the intrigue of the plot and the unique world-building/backstory for the “powers” were enough to keep me sated and pushing for more!

 

Overall, this read was entertaining and complex. I really enjoyed the oral narrative of the powers we got from Jasper and his grandfather early on; the idea of the star “marks” was creative and fun. I also really loved how intense and thick the intrigue/drama was–it really made for a great sense of mystery! I’d recommend this read to lovers of sci fi/magical realism, teenage angst with heavy family drama, and a race to save the world from unknown evil. Check your skin for stars, Penguins; the Sparked are out there!

 

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