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Blog Tour, Giveaway, and Review: Frost

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The robots are rising.

Sixteen-year-old Frost understands why she’s spent her entire life in an abandoned apartment building. The ruined streets below are hunting grounds for rogue robots and Eaters.

She understands why she’s never met a human besides her father. She even understands why he forbids her to look for medicine for her dying pet. But the thing is, it’s not her real father giving the orders . . .

It’s his memories.

Before he died, Frost’s father uploaded his consciousness into their robot servant. But the technology malfunctioned, and now her father fades in and out. So when Frost learns that there might be medicine on the other side of the ravaged city, she embarks on a dangerous journey to save the only living creature she loves.

With only a robot as a companion, Frost must face terrors of all sorts, from outrunning the vicious Eaters . . . to talking to the first boy she’s ever set eyes on. But can a girl who’s only seen the world through books and dusty windows survive on her own?

About the Book

Title: FROST
Author: M.P. Kozlowsky
Pub. Date: October 11, 2016
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 352
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, eBook
Find it: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Goodreads

Cinder meets The Walking Dead in a chilling futuristic fairy tale that will reboot everything you thought about family, love, and what it means to be human.

About the Author:

m-pM.P. Kozlowsky lives in New York City with his wife and two daughters. He is the author of Juniper Berry and The Dyerville Tales, books for readers of all ages.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads


GIVEAWAY:
3 Finished Copies of FROST

Interested in snagging your own copy of this read?!  Click above to go to the giveaway!


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4Penguins

Quick Reasons: yet another awesome take on the robot (and zombie!) apocalypse; I LOVE the examination of what it means to be “human” that goes on throughout this read; the robots I expected, the zombies took me by surprise; a few delicious “twists” I didn’t see coming, a few delicious twists I guessed pretty early on; this was a quick, entertaining read

One very HUGE thank you to M.P. Kozlowsky, Scholastic Press, Edelweiss, and Rockstar Book Tours for sending me digital and physical copies of this ARC free in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this title.

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This book gave me EVERYTHING I never realized I’d been looking for in a dystopian world: humans vs. zombies vs. robots. A main character akin to Rapunzel–both endearingly naive and yet stubbornly strong in her morals. A wide cast of vibrant, well-rounded, individualized characters. A darker, questioning undertone. Sly and subtle hints at a bigger picture. I just… I am blown completely and utterly away, penguins!

So let’s start with the last thing first, yes? There is, throughout the entirety of this read, a darker undercurrent seeping through the pages. Every word, every emotion, begs the question: what, exactly, does it MEAN to be human? I absolutely ADORE how M.P. Kozlowsky went about broaching and examining this subject–and then portraying it across the spectrum of the characters in such satisfying, well-rounded ways!

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There were some very surprising twists and turns throughout–and a few that I, avid reader I am, was able to catch onto fairly early in the read. Don’t worry, penguins–I’ll save these secrets for you to discover all on your own! I will say, despite knowing the biggest twist at the end, I wasn’t at all disappointed–it wasn’t until the big reveal that I actually realized there HAD been hints scattered throughout. M.P. Kozlowsky wrote these with subtlety and sly genius–he knew how to give readers just enough to make them stop and ponder…but not enough to realize TOO soon that they were actually foreshadowings of what was coming. It was brilliantly done, and I tip my hat to the author for pulling it off so well!

I think the biggest triumph, though, came in the smallest package for this read: the characters are astoundingly vibrant, uniquely individualized, and portray HUGE amounts of character growth in very short amounts of time. I was especially taken by Flynn (I mean, let’s not even talk about the fact that his name is FLYNN, and therefore another tipped hat to Rapunzel–Disney’s version, at least). There is so much growth happening, so many changed motivations and shifted allegiances…but Flynn, in particular, exuded the most amount in my opinion. In just a short amount of time, he seems to flipflop on several of his strongest morals. And while there’s a HINT at romance happening…that’s all it is. A hint. Flynn and Frost part ways, to find their own destinies and do what they need as individuals. I just… I have so much love for these characters, guys! SO MUCH!

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I think the only problem I have is, I don’t know if this is a stand-alone or the start of a series. And this bothers me…because…I LOVE these characters, and this world, and I need more! The ending is so ambiguous and open, I just… I am dying to know what happens next. I guess I’ll just have to keep my eyes peeled, and keep hoping. I definitely recommend this to lovers of dystopians; new twists on the zombie/robot apocalypse; and sort of star-crossed lovers who put their destinies before their emotions. This was a wild, entertaining ride from start to finish; I cannot WAIT to see what M.P. Kozlowsky does next!

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3

This is Me: The Robot RoMESS I’ve Been Waiting For

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This is Me.

Goodreads Rating: 4.41 Stars
310 Pages
Live and Love the Fantasy Publications
Publication Date: August 11th, 2016
Also available on Kindle Unlimited

Get a copy here!

A-SIST
Anthropomorphic Sentient Individualized Servile uniT

Rogan is a robot. More specifically, he is an Asist – a personalized humanoid servant that provides protection, assistance, and companionship for a lonely young woman living on her own in the city. Chloe is trying to get her big break, singing at bars and clubs all over the city at night while she pays the bills as a substitute teacher during the day. Ever since she activated him many months ago, Rogan has been her beautiful, dependable, obedient, dead-eyed security blanket.

One morning she is shocked when he disobeys a direct command in an attempt to please her and his dull artificial eyes flash a hint of something new. Is this the result of the adaptive Asist servility programming or is Rogan actually thinking? Can a robot think? Can a robot feel?

As Chloe struggles with these thoughts she is blindsided by the singular Niven Adams, a handsome, confident man with the voice of an angel who is everything she’s ever wanted in a boyfriend. He’s the perfect guy for her, except for one problem. Niven doesn’t approve of Asists and takes an immediate dislike to Rogan. As Niven charms his way deeper and deeper into Chloe’s heart, Rogan tries to convince her that he is more than a mass-produced disposable servant.

With Rogan doing everything in his power to prove that his thoughts and feelings are real and Niven trying to persuade her to abandon her robot and have a normal human relationship, Chloe is trapped between the two things that mean the most to her. Does she embrace her relationship with the blond newcomer, or face that her Asist’s feelings may be more than features of his programming?

What really makes a person a person?
Is it a ticking muscle inside their chest, or is it something more?

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Quick Reasons: creative idea; well-considered closing morals; REALLY annoying love triangle; some unexplained world-building; fair-weather friendships?; an interesting, thought-provoking look at prejudice/the “us against them” argument

A huge thank you to C.E. Wilson for sending me a copy of this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

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So, I have to preface this review with just one thing: C.E. Wilson is one of the most creative, imaginative writers I’ve so far had the privilege to work with. Seriously, penguins–her ideas are fresh and unique. Her stories, on top of that, also always leave me reconsidering the world–and my own opinions on certain heavy topics.

 

This book? Definitely didn’t disappoint me. The moral-scope was hard-hitting and thought-provoking while maintaining enough distance from “reality” to keep it unique. There is a poignant, well-considered perspective on prejudice–and the ways prejudice touches/effects everybody–woven into every page of this read. The characters are written in such dynamic ways, and with such vastly differing opinions on the happenings of this world, that readers are given a complex and insightful glimpse into not only this book, but themselves. Yes, the subject of the plot is robots…but this read reaches much further than that, and is SO important in my opinion.

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I was not, however, real impressed by the love triangle. I understand why it exists–I know the purpose behind including it, and wouldn’t, therefore, go so far as to say it’s unnecessary. In terms of the plot, it is actually very crucial. But. BUT. I might suggest it needs a bit of reworking. I think it boils down to execution for me–there were two men of completely opposing opinions vying for the same woman’s affections… but it was super obvious, from the get-go, who SHE preferred. The reason she didn’t just go for the one she actually wanted? Society. Society’s opinions, beliefs, pressure… Which, don’t get me wrong, I totally understand. I just think the love triangle may have been more satisfying for me if there actually WAS a competition there, and not just the woman giving in to what the “world” thought right.

 

The character interactions and growths were believable, though several seemed to stagnate about halfway through. Monica, for instance– Chloe’s supposed “friend” at the beginning of this book–drops off entirely in the last 40% or so. While a fairly minor character, she plays a HUGE role in the development of certain situations/relationships, and seemed (at first?) to be a pretty large influence on Chloe’s decision-making. So for her to just up and disappear made this feel a bit…incomplete? Maybe this was the point, though–sometimes, people just drop out of our lives. Sometimes there IS no real resolution.

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Overall, this was a complex, hard-hitting read–with just enough distance from “reality” to both make a statement and keep it unique. I cannot WAIT to see what lies ahead for C.E. Wilson; her novels are always so creative and fun, I’m sure it’s bound to be just as awesome! If you enjoy robots, complicated love triangles, and a major dose of roMESS, I definitely recommend this read! Trust me–this book makes a statement. You should give it a chance!

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Bookmark Monday (#18)

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BOOKMARK MONDAY
HOSTED BY:  GUILTLESS READING
DESCRIPTION: DO YOU HAVE A BOOKMARK YOU WANT TO SHARE? JUST TAKE A PHOTO AND LINK UP IN THE LINKY!

Find their latest post here!

My Theme: Robots!

Because they’re adorable, that’s why!

Robot Novelty Bookmark - Articulated Doll Book Mark -  Friendly Robot -  Robot Bookmark - Page Keeper - Paper Doll - Articulated Doll

Friendly Reader, by CoraPearlDesign

He has little…hinge-y things on his limbs, so you can make him do all SORTS of things–like dance, or flail, or…the splits!  I don’t know how that helps with keeping your place, but I’m sure you can figure out something!

Robot Planner Clip / Paper Clip

Robot Paperclip, by ALittlePaperHouse

Because how could you possibly say no to THAT adorable face?!  AND, if you don’t want him to be lonely, you can always get…

Girl Robot Planner Clip / Paper Clip / Valentine Planner Clip

Girl Robot Clips

from the same shop!  Because…even robots need companions?  Yeah!  I mean, if you need proof, just LOOK at Marvin from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy!

Robot Magnetic Bookmarks (Mini 3 Pack)

Magnetic Robots, by craftedvan

Because they come in THREEs!  They’re, like…the fate sisters of bookmarks!  Or maybe the past, present, and future of bookmarks?  The…three…robotic witches of bookmarks?!  I don’t know, but something!

And finally, in honor of the big guy at the top…

Big Hero 6 Inspired Baymax Bookmark

Baymax Inspired, by LittleThingsByLaurie

or, really, any of the bookmarks found here!

Because if you tell people you don’t like this movie, you’re a HUGE LYING DOODOO HEAD!  (kidding, kidding!……..sort of.)

And there you have it!  Five robots…or robot-inspired…bookmarks for your page-saving needs!  Which are your favorites from this batch?  Have any bookmarks you’ve discovered recently you’d like to share with me?  Let me know below!

Until next time, happy book-ing!

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A Review of Descender: Volume 1, by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen

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One young robot’s struggle to stay alive in a universe where all androids have been outlawed and bounty hunters lurk on every planet. A rip-roaring and heart-felt cosmic odyssey that pits humanity against machine, and world against world, to create a sprawling space opera from the creators of Trillium, Sweet Tooth, and Little Gotham. Extra-sized first issue.

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Rating: 4/5 Stars
Quick Reasons: GORGEOUS watercolor art panels; interesting plot, easy to sink your teeth into; awesome, unique cast of characters; emotionally riveting; makes you want to pick up the rest of the series

Okay, guys: First and foremost, HUGE thanks go out to Jeff Lemire, Dustin Nguyen, Image Comics and Netgalley for the ARC of this breathtaking comic/graphic novel! (this in no way changed how I reviewed or read this book or my opinions on it)

I have to start with the most obvious: The artwork for this comic is ABSOLUTELY stunning! It’s done largely in watercolor, looks extremely professional, and I just… I’m in so much awe. The panels are unique at times and very easy to follow; the use of space and motion throughout really helped to bring this more fully to life. The characters are beautifully done, the details exquisite. I just… I’m in awe. This read is SO gorgeous!

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The characters are also easy to relate to or, if not connect with, at least figure out. The robots in particular are some of my favorites; they’re all so unique, with their own personalities, motivations, and knee-jerk reactions. I LOVE the interactions between Tim-21 and Driller the Killer; there’s a sense of…connection? between them almost immediately. You can tell, just from Driller’s speech habits and reactions, that he’s spent a lot of time alone and is tired of it. And Tim-21? Well, he was made to connect to and assimilate with humans… which means he’s much like any other young boy.

The plot is action-packed with bits of emotional tension, drama, and mystery thrown in for flair and more enjoyable reading. The writing is well-done, and some of the panels emulate old Batman comics with the addition of action-hero sound bubbles. Every page is an adventure, laid out and structured so well your eyes will have no trouble figuring out where to go next. This is a talent not all artists possess: the ability to make reading an art piece easy. The ability to draw the eye exactly where it’s meant to be, WHEN it’s supposed to.

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Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen did a spectacular job bringing this book and these characters to life for me; I’m definitely going to be keeping my eye out for future additions/volumes to this, because I need to know what happens next! I’d highly recommend to lovers of graphic novels/comics, sci fi/space adventures, and robots, cyborgs, and “alien” invasions. This is one comic you don’t want to miss!