Giveaway Time!

Hey everyone, to celebrate my return to all things bookish, I’m hosting a new giveaway! Percy says enter to win a fabulous book!

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The winner will get to pick one of the books from above. This giveaway is US only and will end 9/18.

Enter to win on Rafflecopter.

You can get additional entries through twitter here: https://twitter.com/Book_Babe23/status/775053281919836160

And on Instagram. My username is rowanreadsandraves.

Thanks again to everyone that’s stuck with me this past few months, you guys are unbelievable.

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Book Talk: Fourth Book in The White Rabbit Chronicles Announced!

11300302                    15755296                   20579287

For those of you that haven’t heard, Gena Showalter announced that The White Rabbit Chronicles isn’t quite over yet. That’s right, she is officially writing a fourth book titled A Mad Zombie Party and I couldn’t be more excited. The end of the third book really left us hanging and I was definitely more than unsatisfied. Kat died, Frosty’s heart was broken beyond repair, Ali and Cole still have so much left to do, I wanted more and it looks like my wish came true.

Here is the interview below or you can click on the link here.

Gena Showalter fans, you’re a lucky bunch. Gena and publisher Harlequin Teen have decided the White Rabbit Chronicles trilogy will no longer be a trilogy. Book three, The Queen of Zombie Hearts, left us all wondering what would happen to our favorite characters. Gena herself felt the story was unfinished. So we’re going to get book four: A Mad Zombie Party, coming our way at the end of September. Gena and her editor join HEA to explain the why and, most important, the what.

First, here’s where we are in the White Rabbit Chronicles, according to Harlequin Teen: When we left Ali Bell, Cole Holland and friends at the end of The Queen of Zombie Hearts, they had just won a zombie/human war destroying the evil Anima Industries. But the gang did not emerge unscathed and one particular loss devastated the characters and their loyal fans. Messages poured in, everyone wanting to know the same thing: What happens with Frosty and Kat?

Never fear! Slayer … we mean, author Gena Showalter is back!

Gena and editor Natashya Wilson on what readers can expect from A Mad Zombie Party

Tashya: Hi, Gena! Ready for round four?!

Gena: Dude! Are zombies hungry?? Bring. It. On. I’m basically foaming at the mouth.

Tashya: How did you feel when you wrote the final words of The Queen of Zombie Hearts?

Gena: The moment I finish any book, my feels are pretty much the same. Goes a little something like this: It’s done? Whimper. Tears of joy. Oh, my back. Relief! Shower! Food! Sleep! Oh, my back. You mean I get to catch up on my favorite TV shows? Tears of joy. Oh, my back.

But after that, book-specific emotions began to settle in. With The Queen of Zombie Hearts, I experienced an extreme high — and a major low. I was so beyond pleased with what I’d written, and so happy with the growth of the characters (well, the characters who survived, that is — insert evil laugh). But I left one of my favorite boys in the lurch, with nothing but a lifetime of misery ahead if he continued along the same path. Sexy man-meat too sad for love? Not on my watch!

Tashya: How have your fans responded to the end of the trilogy?

Gena: I have been overwhelmed by the response to The Queen of Zombie Hearts. In fact, I received some of my best reviews yet. “Amazing!” “Epic!” “A book worth the wait.” “Beautiful.” But despite the positive feedback, a sense of heartbreak pervaded. So many wanted to know: What about Frosty? (Oh! And, of course: How could you do that to Kat?) I had to know the answer, too.

Tashya: When did you first suspect you had one more story to tell?

Gena: The moment one of my favorite characters died, and Frosty’s devastation began to take over every scene. I knew I couldn’t leave him that way.

Tashya: Without spoiling anything, tell us a little about A Mad Zombie Party.

Gena: The book will be told from alternating points of view. You’ll get live-action thoughts from Frosty — as well as the girl he loves … or will love, one day. Kat? Or someone else? I’ll never tell! (Well. Until I do, in fact, tell you.) Ali, Cole and the gang are back, and they team up with River and his crew — oops, I just dropped a huge hint about the storyline — as Anima rises from the grave, just like the zombies they created.

Tashya: What do you hope fans feel once they finish this final White Rabbit Chronicles book?

Gena: As if the darkness has at last lifted, and the light shines.

Tashya: Thank you, Gena, and a huge thank you to all the fans who have made the White Rabbit Chronicles a bestselling and much-beloved series! We are so thrilled that you have taken these characters into your hearts.

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So what exactly am I hoping to get out of this book? I was honestly a little disappointed with the last one because I felt like it left us with so many unanswered questions. Cole is definitely my man-candy in this series so I’m hoping that, while I get the impression from the interview that this book is going to focus on Frosty a lot, we still get plenty of time with the other characters. I can’t imagine that Gena Showalter would change up the fourth book by having a different narrator that Ali, so maybe it will bounce between like 50% her POV and the rest bouncing between other characters.

I’m really hoping that by the end of A Mad Zombie Party, we really get a sense of what direction everyone’s life is going in. I wanted to die at the end of The Queen of Zombie Hearts because we just kind of got the whole, “life is going to be hard now but at least we’re together” ending that left you wondering about everything.

Also, I of course want to know what happens with Frosty. Him losing Kat at the end of the third book was really just pure evil. In her interview, Gena Showalter hints that Frosty is going to have a love interest, but we don’t know if it’s still going to be Kat or a new girl. Kat somehow coming back seems unlikely to me, but the thought of us getting to know a new girl in just one book and being okay with her ending up with Frosty is hard to believe. Especially if Kat is still lingering around.

I really hope that Ali and Cole don’t go through more relationship drama in this book. In every single previous book, they would get together, have some misunderstanding or a different love interest would break them up and it got exasperating. I wanted to bonk their heads together and lock them in a room until they just figured it out and stopped being all insecure and jealous. Hopefully after everything that goes down in The Queen of Zombie Hearts, they can finally just calm down and realize that obviously they love each other. I wouldn’t mind more sexy mind visions though, those were always hot.

Besides that, with Anima back in zombie form, I’m excited that we are going to have another bad-ass, faced paced plot. I can tell just from her saying that the team has to gang up with River, who I’m super excited to see more of, that shit it going down. I wonder if Ali is going to be developing any more powers or how the gang is going to be working now that lots of them are dead or damaged and things are kind of back to normal.

So how do you guys feel about the fact that there is going to be a fourth book? Thoughts or predictions?

You can check out my review of the first book, Alice in Zombieland here.

Review: Alice in Zombieland

Title: Alice in Zombieland (The White Rabbit Chronicles #1)11300302

Author: Gena Showalter

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Publication Date: September 25, 2012

Summary: She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.

Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.

Her father was right. The monsters are real….

To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies….

I wish I could go back and do a thousand things differently.
I’d tell my sister no.
I’d never beg my mother to talk to my dad.
I’d zip my lips and swallow those hateful words.
Or, barring all of that, I’d hug my sister, my mom and my dad one last time.
I’d tell them I love them.
I wish… Yeah, I wish.

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So this book starts off with Ali, a not-so-normal teenage girl begging her mom to let them go to her little sisters dance recital. Which doesn’t seem like such a huge thing to ask, especially when it’s on her birthday that they forgot again. Except, it is a big deal when your dad refuses to let you go out after dark, because he is beyond terrified that the monsters are going to get them. Yeah, her dad has a few paranoia issues. But in the end, she convinces her parents to go and they have a good time, but stay out past dark. And on the way home, their car crashes and Ali comes to only to find her mother and sister dead and her father being devoured by creatures on the road. Ali survives and finds herself living with her grandparents, where she catches glimpses of creatures in the woods outside her house. Uncertain of what’s happening, Ali finds unexpected answers at her school, where she encounters a smoldering bad boy named Cole who seems to know what’s going on. You guys hear that, a smoldering bad boy… yeah, you know what that means *eyebrow wiggle*

I’ve heard so much hype about this series but I’ve been really good about avoiding spoilers, so I didn’t even remotely know what to expect going into this book. But first of all, don’t let the title fool you. This book is really in no way about Alice in Wonderland, besides the chapter titles and a few fun things thrown in. I was not aware of this so through the first chunk of the book, I was trying to figure out why there was a lack of Alice in Wonderland-ish things. Despite the lack of white rabbits and hookah smoking caterpillars, this was still such a fun read and I found myself really enjoying it.

Alice, also known as Ali, was a heroine that I actually found myself liking. One of the things that I really liked about her was that she was uncertain and vulnerable through a big portion of this book, but managed to still be stubborn and spunky and confident despite that. But with that, I found her to be a little hot and cold. Sometimes she was really timid pushover and other times she was a confrontational bad ass, and it was hard for me to see why she was one way sometimes then the other way a few minutes later. I did really like seeing her coming out of her shell of sadness and depression after losing her family, and finding a sort of purpose again. It felt like she had lost herself during that time and found a new and improved version. Also, this girl was a bad ass. Seriously, since her father had trained her to kick monster butt, when she actually got into fights, it was so cool to see how she evaluated the situation, made quick decisions, and annihilated her enemies. But not to an unrealistic level, she was good, but she wasn’t the best and she still made mistakes and got hurt.

Cole was an interesting character for me because I really wanted to dislike him. When Ali first sees him and he is hanging around a bunch of bad kids and they were all tough and mysterious, I internally sighed. Of course he was going to be one of those boys who wouldn’t share his feelings and got jealous and picked fights with any boy who talked to Ali and was kind of a massive jerk. And he totally was. But I actually found myself really liking him. I know, what’s wrong with me? I mean, he is the most cliche YA love interest ever and I should be immune to his charms. I mean, he wasn’t even a particularly well rounded character, he was kind of flat and we don’t get to learn that much about him in this book. But there was just something about him that I found myself enjoying. I think it was just the fact that he had no shame and Ali totally accepted him how he was. He would just go around giving people the stink eye and scaring them to death, or picking fights for no reason, or say sexy smoldering things, and he was never embarrassed of his actions and never apologized. He oozed this weird sort of sexy confidence and I found myself really liking it and the fact that he didn’t try to change to impress Ali.

And I have to say, their romance is steamy. I mean, I was frantically fanning myself at some parts. There was an insta-love sort of connection of course, but it was so intriguing because it was so random and out of nowhere, that it actually drew me in because I wanted to know what was going on. And they had some stupid petty romance drama through the book, and while constant hot and cold relationships drive me crazy, I kind of liked the game that they were playing, just because I think Ali and Cole were kind of both out of their comfort zone and bumbling around like idiots trying to figure out what they should be doing. This is kind of stupid, but the one thing that drove me crazy was that every single time they kissed, Ali would notice his taste, and every single time he would taste like some new sexy moan-worthy flavor. It’s like he keeps a stash of random scrumptious flavored mints in his pockets and just so happens to eat one right before they smooch it up. He is clearly a man that plans ahead.

When it comes down to the actual plot of this book, there were things I liked and things I didn’t. I really liked the concept of the zombies and how they are able to fight them. It was a really interesting twist on classic zombies and when you add in a whole bunch of spirit stuff and possible super-ish powers, it became that much more interesting and fun. I really enjoyed some of the secondary characters and some of the subplots going on with them, as well as the struggles Ali faces with keeping this a secret from her grandparents.

I didn’t really like though how there were a lot of coincidences in this book. I always kind of have to call bullshit on certain things. Like the fact that Ali just so happens to end up going to a school with a huge group of kids who just so happen to be able to see zombies, one of which who she just so happens to have some special love connection to… Yeah, she must just be really lucky. I also don’t like when I’m reading a book and feel like certain plot things happen just as an excuse for romance. That sounds confusing but here’s an example. Ali gets chased by zombies into the woods, which is a good excuse for the author to show us how well she can defend herself, which she kind of does. But eventually the heroine get’s taken down, only to be rescued by her knight in shining armor, who cradles her broken body in his arms and begs her to stay with him, then saves her life just in time. When I read things like this I feel like the whole part before, with her getting chased and fighting zombies, is just set up for the romantic scene that we can all swoon over. Which annoys me just a tiny bit.

Honestly, I think the thing I hate most about this book is that it made me like things that I swore to despise. I totally shipped this couple despite their insta-love crap. I loved Cole, the cliche mysterious bad boy with a body carved by angels. Actually, with a body like that, I’m pretty sure the devil himself chiseled it out of stone from the second circle of hell, just to unleash it upon the poor unsuspected girls of Asher High. For those of you that didn’t just get that witty reference I made, the second circle of hell is for the lusty sinners. Get it? Lust? Cole’s sexy body? Ha ha. Anyways, as much as I hate to admit it, I can point out all the flaws I found in this book but I still can’t deny that I busted through it in a day and really enjoyed every second of it. I’ve already ordered the second one.

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