Sunday, February 17, 2013

Blog Tour, Guest Post, Giveaway: Kerry Taylor Author of Stones of My Heart

Please welcome the lovely Kerry Taylor to Words on The Shelf, Kerry is the author of Stones of My Heart 

In this poetry collection, follow author Kerry Taylor's journey as she survives depression, abuse, stalkers, and bad hair days.

Author Bio:
Kerry Taylor, a single parent of three, has been knocked down many times in life. She has grieved through various stages such as: the loss of family members, friends, houses, health, money and her husband. Abuse by strangers and family members resulted in the loss of her dignity. She has held onto her pride, believing that one day things will get better.

With three healthy children, she wrote Stones of My Heart to share her autobiography in the form of poetry. Writing has become her sanctuary; allowing expression through her creative gift. A gift that keeps her afloat during her darkest hours.

Hey everyone, this is Kerry Taylor’s list of favorites! Check it out and see if you have any similarities!

Favourite Movie: Imitation of Life
Favourite Animation: Lion King
Favourite Book: To Kill a Mocking Bird
Favourite Actor: Clint Eastwood
Favourite Actress: Meryl Streep
Favourite Song: I just can not give up now
Favourite Singer: Luther Vandross
Favourite Colour: Yellow
Favourite Line: C'est la vie
Favourite Photo: Attached
Favourite Child: None
Favourite Day: Saturday
Favourite Time: Midnight
Favourite Season: Spring
Favourite Place: The Beach

What about you? What are some of your favorites?

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Sunday, February 03, 2013

Review Sundays: Breathe by Sarah Crossan

Hello and welcome to the second Review Sunday, this week I will be reviewing Breathe by Sarah Crossan

Inhale. Exhale. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe . . . The world is dead. The survivors live under the protection of Breathe, the corporation that found a way to manufacture oxygen-rich air.
Alina has been stealing for a long time. She's a little jittery, but not terrified. All she knows is that she's never been caught before. If she's careful, it'll be easy. If she's careful.
Quinn should be worried about Alina and a bit afraid for himself, too, but even though this is dangerous, it's also the most interesting thing to happen to him in ages. It isn't every day that the girl of your dreams asks you to rescue her.
Bea wants to tell him that none of this is fair; they'd planned a trip together, the two of them, and she'd hoped he'd discover her out here, not another girl.
And as they walk into the Outlands with two days' worth of oxygen in their tanks, everything they believe will be shattered. Will they be able to make it back? Will they want to?

This book is phenomenal, if you have followed some of my reviews, you will know that I have a weakness of love for dystopian novels and for me, Breathe really achieved the fullest of what a dystopian novel can resolve. This novel takes the idea of a changed world to the extreme by removing something that is fundamental to our world, to us and giving it the role of something to be earned, it becomes something objective.
Oxygen something I'm sure many of us take for granted because breathing to us has become something subconscious we barely notice, has been turned into something precious. Oxygen in Breathe becomes the kind of thing only the wealthy can afford excess of and the poor can struggle to maintain enough of, like for example clothing and its quality in our world. Isn't that comparison sad, our precious thing is clothing compared to oxygen in Breathe?
This is a reason why I love the whole concept of the novel, it not only reminds you that you should be thankful that you are alive and have a family and friends like most books, but it reminds you that for every breath you take you should be grateful.
Sarah creates a world where oxygen levels have plummeted and those who survived built a pod where oxygen is pumped into, the people and their oxygen supplies are watched and controlled closely by the society. They have lived there for years, but things are getting better on the outside, except this is something they haven't been told. The society has darker secrets, they have men on the outside to look for others outside the pod, and possibly inside it too who know more than they should and are doing things the society does not approve of and aims to stop. Those people form the rebellion.
The characters Sarah has created aren't superficial, but they are real, a young girl who is intelligent and hard working but isn't rewarded for it because of her background. A young boy who is wealthy and smart, but is never given the chance to earn anything because it is given to him. Characters that show strength and love even though they aren't accepted because of their sexuality, appreciation for the trees that give us air, kindness and care to those they barely knew. Characters that resemble the older generation who can be forgotten for all they did, and those that show that people can be completely different than who they are on the surface. The characters learn these things from each other as the story progresses.
The story is intense and filled with anticipation, dread and action. The characters defy the irrational laws their society has bound them by, because every society is run selfishly. It will make your heart warm, make you smile but not quite laugh, make your heart ache and break, but it will hold it back together again, and even though you'll feel loss and betrayal, you'll cry but you'll never quite feel sad, because you'll feel their love.
A quote from Breathe:

“I allow myself to be right here, in the moment, savouring the peace. All the millions and millions of stars remind me, too, how small and fragile I am. And unimportant, really. If this branch were to creak and moan and break under my weight, and I were to plummet to the ground, the stars in the sky would continue to decorate the world. And even if the last tree disappears from our planet, the stars will still be up there.” 

I guess this kind of reminds us that there is so much more out there that it is bigger than us and we are just a fraction in time, a spectacle in the big picture. But it also shows that even when things are gone and dead like the stars above us, they're still beautiful and appreciated from a far, still remembered.

I really loved Breathe the characters names Quinn (one of my favourite boys names, and sometimes girls name, ever!), Bea, Alina.. all the names have an unused, originality to them which I love and the characters all have a certain personality which defines them. I just adored this book and I thought it had ended before it actually had and I was still content with the ending a couple of pages before the real ending, because I thought it was a stand alone book. But now, I am waiting like a fan girl of a band who want to meet them, for the next installment of this series.

I really, really, really urge you if you're a lover of dystopian such as myself, if you read Divergent and wanted more, if you read Crossed and fell in love, if you read Hunger Games and hated the Capitol and if you read Delirium and dreamed for what was beyond.. then this book right here will give you everything you love and hate about a dystopian world.

But if you need a little more convincing here is the book trailer...

Convinced you need to read this book right now? Not yet? Listen to the authors inspiration...

Needless to say Breathe scored high on my rating.
Breathe was reviewed for Bloomsbury publishing, thank you for sending me this amazing novel Bloomsbury!

Tune in to next weeks Review Sunday for The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth Laban