Paper Towns by John Green book review (spoiler free)

When Margo Roth Spiegelman beckons Quentin Jacobsen in the middle of the night—dressed like a ninja and plotting an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows her. Margo’s always planned extravagantly, and, until now, she’s always planned solo. After a lifetime of loving Margo from afar, things are finally looking up for Q . . . until day breaks and she has vanished. Always an enigma, Margo has now become a mystery. But there are clues. And they’re for Q.

4 of 5 stars

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Author Interview & Giveaway: Kenna McKinnon - author of SpaceHive

There's a buzz in the air—and it's deadly…
After getting kidnapped by giant alien bees, twelve-year-old Jason Anderson is transported to a spaceship called SpaceHive. There, he learns of a horrifying plot to annihilate Earth's human population so that extraterrestrial bees and wasps can migrate to a new world.
As a swarm of spaceships make a beeline toward Earth, Jason must convince three friendly worker bees to help him escape his space prison and find other humans to aid in his mission to stop the invasion. But General Vard, wasp commander of the Black Watch, has other plans.
Can Jason unite the nations of Earth in their common fight to destroy these alien invaders? Or will Earth be lost to the sting of conspiracy and a worldwide massacre?

Errl, an alien Sasquatch teen from Planet X, visits Earth on a MiddleSchool research trip with his classmates and a kind but absentminded alien teacher, who accidentally leaves Errl behind when their airpod crashes on Earth. Errl is not fond of school and has no plans for his future. Errl is rather clumsy and doesn't like water. When his classmates go for a swim Errl leaves for the forest, promising to come back before the rescue ship is due to pick them up. He is confused and doesn't make it back to the ship on time. Errl is left alone to fend for himself on Earth and try to make his way back to the rescue ship when it is scheduled to return in ten Terra days. He becomes lost and disoriented, and frightens a group of Cub Scouts. Errl becomes separated from his classmates and confronts a hostile Cub Scout leader in the woods, who tries to shoot him. The Scout leader fires on him and Errl runs. He runs to a river and tries to swim across to escape. Hungry, exhausted, cold and tired, he is pulled downriver by the current. He is swept over a waterfall and spends the night in a mud cave at the side of the river.  He finds a trapper's cabin in the woods and is discovered by the trapper, whose name is Joe Locke. He runs and stumbles into a small town called Parsnip Creek. The men of the town have formed a posse to hunt him down.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? Read the novel…Bigfoot Boy: Lost on Earth, published November 18, 2013 by Mockingbird Lane Press. Author Kenna McKinnon

Kenna McKinnon is the author of SpaceHive, a middle grade sci-fi/fantasy novel traditionally
published by Imajin Books; The Insanity Machine, a self-published memoir with co-author
Austin Mardon, PhD, CM; and DISCOVERY – A Collection of Poetry, all released in 2012.
BIGFOOT BOY: Lost on Earth, was released on October 30, 2013 by Mockingbird Lane Press, a traditional small press. A children's chapter book, Benjamin & Rumblechum, will be published by Mockingbird Lane Press in late 2014. Her books are available in eBook and paperback worldwide on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, and in selected bookstores and public libraries. Her interests / hobbies include occasional runner, volunteer, sporadic student of hatha yoga, karate and kickboxing, weightlifting, and frequent walker. She lives in a high-rise bachelor suite in the trendy neighborhood of Oliver in the City of Edmonton. Her most memorable years were spent at the University of Alberta, where she graduated with Distinction with a degree in Anthropology (1975). She has lived successfully with schizophrenia for many years and is a member of the Writers' Guild of Alberta and the Canadian Authors Association. She has three wonderful children and three grandsons.

FMM: Are any of your traits similar to the ones of your characters?
KM: Yes, I would say Jason is independent and can get along on his own without 
parental supervision, which I often did as a child / youth. He is much braver than I am, 
though, and much more skilled in science and modern technology. The boy Joey in Bigfoot Boy: Lost on Earth faced bullying, which I did also as a child and even into my adult years. I'm going to work with Grade Fives in an elementary school in Alberta, in May, on this topic. Hunny, the female Bigfoot, is a bit obstreperous, which I can be. I'm also a caring person, which I hope shows up in my characters.

FMM: How long did it take you to write SpaceHive? What obstacles did you face?
KM: It took me approximately five years to write SpaceHive, including the editing. 
I originally wrote it as an adult book and it was much longer, but was convinced by 
the publisher of Imajin Books to rewrite it to a young adult/middle grade style. She 
eventually accepted the book to publish it in 2012. The primary obstacle I faced is promotion. I love to write but my promotion skills  need attention. Lack of experience was another obstacle faced while I was doing the original writing and then the edits.

FMM: Do you have a specific writing style?
KM: I would say I've developed a specific writing style. My themes are often universal 
in scope with a subtle moral or lesson to them, and my mood is usually optimistic and 
hopeful. I'll leave it to my readers to discover what it is about my writing style they  recognize and like.

FMM: What is your favorite genre/theme to write?
KM: I think so far my favorite genre has been science fiction or fantasy, with a hint of the  supernatural. My theme is often that of universal salvation and hope.

FMM: How long does it take you to edit and finalize a book into a publishing worthy state?
KM: I now have a professional editor, Morgen Bailey of the UK, and Judith Hansen in 
Michigan. It takes about six months to edit and finalize a book, but it took me longer to  finalize SpaceHive. It was my debut novel and needed a lot of input from my publisher,  Cheryl Tardif, who was extremely helpful.

FMM: What is the best part about being an author?
KM: I love to write and that is the best part. Also the independence it affords. I can write at home and at any hour of the day or night, and do what I love.

FMM: Have you ever despised any of your writing? 
KM: No, I looked at some of my original novels and they needed years of experience, and much of my earlier poetry was na├»ve, but I loved them at the time and in many ways, I do enjoy my own work.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author Interview: Marissa Meyer - author of the Lunar Chronicles

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. 
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Marissa Meyer lives in Tacoma, Washington, with her husband and three cats. She’s a fan of most things geeky (Sailor Moon, Firefly, color-coordinating her bookshelf . . .), and has been in love with fairy tales since she was given a small book of them when she was a child. She may or may not be a cyborg. Cinder is her first novel.

FMM: What inspired the idea of The Lunar Chronicles?
 MM: It started when I entered a writing contest in which the host had listed about ten random prompts and writers had to choose two of them to include in their stories. My two prompts: set it in the future and include a fairy-tale character. My contest entry was a sci-fi version of "Puss in Boots" and I had so much fun writing it that I thought I would try to do an entire series of sci-fi fairy tales! (The ironic part of that story is that only two stories were submitted for the contest—and mine didn't win!) A couple months after that I was drifting off to sleep when the lightning bolt struck: Cinderella… as a cyborg! I crawled out of bed and spent about an hour brainstorming and jotting notes. Thus, The Lunar Chronicles was born.

FMM: If you could pick a song to go with one of your novels, which song would it be?
MM: For me, the theme song of the series is "Invincible" by Muse. It's all about banding together to take down a foe that seems unstoppable - "Tonight, we can truly say - together we're invincible." That's become a big theme in the books, too. That only by all the heroes and heroines banding together and setting aside their differences and working as a team can they overcome Queen Levana and the Lunars.

FMM: Would you consider that your characters are part of yourself?
MM: I definitely put a little piece of myself into each character - including the bad ones! I find that I have to have something in each character that I can relate to in some way, otherwise I don't think I could write them authentically. Sometimes it's easy for me to pinpoint that characteristic, other times it's more deeply buried, but it's always there. In the end, though, I tend to think of my characters as very close friends, more than extensions of myself

FMM: What is your source of story inspiration?
MM: Story inspiration can come from absolutely anywhere - whether it's a dream or a some song lyrics, a newspaper article or a picture you see on Pinterest, a snippet of overheard conversation or some experience you had a long, long time. You never know when inspiration will strike or where it will come from. The trick is being open to recognizing it when it does hit!

FMM: Has writing changed you as a person? 
MM: I've always considered myself as a writer, even when I was a little kid, so it's difficult for me to imagine myself as any other than a writer. I think writing has allowed me to hold on to and appreciate my imagination in a way that a lot of people lose as they become adults. I'm still idealistic and optimistic. I would think that I'm more accepting and empathetic than I would have otherwise been, too, as writing forces you to see the world through the eyes of many different people, not just your own. But who knows! I do know that I'm living my dream life right now, and I feel lucky for that every day.