Top Ten Tuesday: Author Collabs


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  Each week there is a new topic and this week’s topic is: Top Ten Author Duos You’d LOVE To See Write A Book Together

1) Sarah Dessen + Morgan Matson = Contemporary YA with the best girl/girl best friendship ever.

2) Leigh Bardugo + Laini Taylor = Fantasy with crazy world building and hardcore heroine.

3) Jennifer E Smith + Kasie West = YA romance with the girl we all wish we were and the best male lead.

4) James Dashner + Michael Grant = Hardcore boy(s) survival story.

5) John Green + Rainbow Rowell = Something contemporary with all of the feels.

6) Cassandra Clare + Gail Carriger = STEAMPUNK. Snarky heroine.

7) Veronica Roth + Marie Lu = Dystopian world, heroine who has so many more skills than I could ever dream of.

8) Marissa Meyer + Rosamund Hodge = Best fairytale retelling of all time.

9) Ally Condie + Kiera Cass = Civilized dystopian world. Love triangle.

10) Megan Shepherd + Lauren DeStefano = Mildly science-fictiony with a thread of something dark, almost gothic.

Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant

Have you done something bad recently? Something REALLY bad? Did you get away with it too? Then you better look out, because the Messenger is coming. He’ll offer you a deal. Play a game or pay the price. If you win, then you get to go free, but if you lose then you’ll have to pay by living your greatest fear. So what’s it going to be? Pay or play?20419044

Okay, so I know this is the third Michael Grant book that I’ve reviewed on this blog, but this was actually the first one that I read. This is the book that made me look up and read the first two books from the Gone series. Let me just start by saying that this book was better. WAY better. I thought the concept was a lot more intriguing and thought provoking. The Messenger exists to create balance in the world. He brings justice to those that did not end up being punished by the world for their crime(s). Throughout the book the main character, Mara, struggles with the ethics of such a task. She finds that she’s been apprenticed to the Messenger, but she’s not sure that what they’re doing is right. It actually doesn’t seem like Messenger’s 100% sure either. That’s what I really liked. You have this really powerful character who’s fulfilling his purpose, even while he’s questioning it a bit. It creates an interesting dynamic and also helps the reader to feel more connected to him even though he’s some otherworldly being.

Mara was a good character. I liked her as a person and I felt my own inner conflict echoing hers. I felt connected to her. That’s why the plot twist towards the end really threw me for a loop. I did not see it coming. Without spoiling it, the twist is such that if the reader had been given this information at the beginning of the book, we would not have liked Mara. In fact, we probably would have hated her. The author did such a good job making Mara likable before dropping that bombshell on us. So even though it’s a pretty bad thing, we’re still rooting for her. Just genius.

This book came out last September and there is a novella called The Snake which I haven’t had the chance to read yet. Now, I believe there will be more books (at least one), but I haven’t been able to find out any information about when it’ll be out. But when I do, I’ll post it!

Note: This book contains some heavier themes including bullying and suicide, both involving teenagers.

Overall Rating: 4
Violence: Heavy. There are a couple of pretty graphic scenes.
Sexual Content: Moderate
Language: Moderate
Smoking/Drinking: Mild

Hunger by Michael Grant

This is the second book in the Gone Series by Michael Grant and this post may contain spoilers if you have not read the first one. Click here for my review of “Gone” the first book in the series.

Hunger starts three months after Gone ends. The food supply at Perdido Beach is perilously low, but none of the kids will do anything about it–they all just want to sit inside and play video games. When Caine decides to take over the power plant and cut the power in Perdido Beach, things get a little messy. Sam is torn between stopping Caine and monitoring the town where a “Freaks vs. Humans” mentality is starting to take hold. With next to no food and problems cropping up left and right how are the kids going to survive?9780061449086_p0_v2_s260x420

I know I said that I was going to read this whole series…well, I’m not. This book just got way too weird for me. After I’d made the decision to not continue with the series, I went onto Wikipedia and read the blurbs for the rest of the books. I’m pretty glad that I stopped after this one because the rest of the books get even WEIRDER even though I didn’t think that was possible.

Moving on. Yes, this book was weird. More mutating carnivorous animals, more strange radioactive beasts living in the mountains, and more superhuman powers that don’t really make sense. Even though there was a lot going on in the book, I didn’t feel like there was any driving force that made me want to turn the page. I could have stopped reading at any time and been fine with it. It just lacked emotion maybe…I didn’t feel connected to or really care about any of the characters. When someone dies I’m just like, “Meh” which is really saying something because I’m a crier. Big time. My husband always has to remind me that these people aren’t real and I always say (while holding back tears) “But the EMOTIONS are real!” With this book…no emotions. The only emotion I really felt was disgust–often. Anyway. I won’t be reading any more of these, so don’t be expecting any more reviews. If you’re simply dying to find out how the kids get out, here’s the Wikipedia article.

Overall Rating: 2
Violence: Heavy. A lot of fighting and some moderately graphic descriptions of gore.
Sexual Content: Mild
Language: Mild
Smoking/Drinking: Moderate. One character is an alcoholic and there’s a scene with kids smoking pot.

Gone by Michael Grant

In Perdido Beach, CA everybody over the age of 13 has vanished into thin air. Soon the kids discover that some of them have special powers, animals are mutating, and there’s an invisible wall surrounding their town. Bullies from the local private school, Coates Academy, are soon running things in a way very reminiscent of Golding’s “Lord of the Flies”. Some kids are interested in finding a way out, some kids rejoice in their new-found power and authority, and some kids are just trying to stay alive.9780061448782_p0_v2_s260x420

I loved reading “Lord of the Flies” when I was in high school so I was excited to find a book that has a similar premise (kids running wild without adult supervision). Just a warning right off the bat: this book is long (almost 600 pages) and it’s the first in a six book series (all about as long). If you do not have the time, the patience, or the desire to invest in this series, I do not recommend starting the first book. That being said, up to this point I have only read “Gone” (although I do have the second book in the series waiting on my Kindle as I’m writing this).

With that disclaimer out of the way…the book was pretty good, but frustrating. First the good. If you’ve read any of my previous reviews, you’ve probably picked up on the fact that I appreciate realism. Even in fantastical worlds that abide by different laws than Earth, I appreciate when characters are realistic in their choices and reactions. This book mostly does that for me. The author acknowledged the reality of having all adults disappear simultaneously. Babies and small children would die if no one were there to take care of them and the author brings that up. The older kids in charge may not have been as realistic as I would have liked…maybe a little too smart/clever for 13-year-olds, but I can forgive that.

Now for the bad. The mutating animals are just weird and whatever darkness is going on in the mountains…also weird. The special powers are also a little hard for me to swallow, but I’m more okay with that than I am with the talking coyotes. Like I said, weird. My main issue with this book is the length. It’s interesting to read about how the kids reestablish civilization and all that, but does that really take 600 pages and five more books? I just want to know how the kids get out and if they’ll be reunited with their families! Truth be told, if I wasn’t so interested in how that was going to happen I probably wouldn’t read the rest of the series. Alas, I’m dying to know how the heck they get out of this dang city. Looks like I’ll be slogging my way through 2,500 more pages of pre-teens fighting with each other.

Overall Rating: 3
Violence: Moderate. Some gore.
Sexual Content: None
Language: Mild
Smoking/Drinking: Mild. Some characters drink beer.

The rest of the books in the series: Hunger, Lies, Light, Fear, and Plague.