Best of 2016: YA Book Madness’ Top 16 YA Reads

It’s been a crazy year. I’ve done so much that I never thought I would with writing and making blogger/author friends. Through all the chaos I’ve read some amazing books (though not all of them got reviewed). Last year I broke my top picks into categories. This year, I’ve decided to do an overall top 16 and then into broad categories. Tell me if you’ve read any on my list, what you thought, and feel free to recommend some of your top 2016 YA books!!!

BEST OF 2016 YA OVERALL 

BEST of 2016 SCIENCE FICTION

BEST of 2016 CONTEMPORARY

BEST of 2016 HORROR

BEST of 2016 THRILLER

BEST of 2016 PARANORMAL 

Pleasant reading, 

Jordan

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Blog Tour, ARC Review & Giveaway: Remember Yesterday by Pintip Dunn

rememberyesterdaytour-copyremember-yesterday-cover-copy

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syn

Remember Yesterday is the sequel to the NYT Bestselling and RITA™ Award-winning book, Forget Tomorrow.

Sixteen-year-old Jessa Stone is the most valuable citizen in Eden City. Her psychic abilities could lead to significant scientific discoveries, if only she’d let TechRA study her. But ten years ago, the scientists kidnapped and experimented on her, leading to severe ramifications for her sister, Callie. She’d much rather break into their labs and sabotage their research—starting with Tanner Callahan, budding scientist and the boy she loathes most at school.

The past isn’t what she assumed, though—and neither is Tanner. He’s not the arrogant jerk she thought he was. And his research opens the door to the possibility that Jessa can rectify a fatal mistake made ten years earlier. She’ll do anything to change the past and save her sister—even if it means teaming up with the enemy she swore to defeat.

review4/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Entangled

Remember Yesterday is a heartfelt and magnetic sequel to Forget Tomorrow. The emotions are high, the risks even higher, and the danger is enough to keep the pages turning. 

READ THIS BOOK IF: 

  • You’re searching for a sister bond that transcends time and space. That kind of love is timeless. 
  • You love to be kept on your toes.
  • You’re looking for a scifi, dystopia world with time travel, precognition, and dare to test Fate. 

PROS:

  • I thought book 1 was emotional but Remember Yesterday, talk about emotional turmoil. The feels are deep, resonate, and hit you with a punch that you don’t see coming. Sometimes they’re bold confessions, other times they’re bittersweet truths. No matter what form these power surges of emotion come in, they’ll get under your skin. The impact is hard-hitting and compelling. 
  • Callie and Jessa. Despite the fact that Callie is not a predominant character in this book in terms of agency, her presence influences every choice, every step towards the future. Her memory is a legacy that rebuilds the world. Jessa and Callie’s love for each other is an aching, beautiful thing. It builds and transforms into something unbreakable and infinite. You feel every single ounce of the respect and adoration. I don’t know that I’ve ever read a stronger sibling bond.
  • If you remember little 6-year-old Jessa from book 1, you’ll recall that she was always a little feisty, energetic thing. This Jessa, the one who has lived through years of self-esteem issues, a strained relationship with her mother, and the sobering reality and guilt of her cherished sister’s choice, is not at all what I expected. She’s sporty, a bit of a daredevil, and kind of flits about. There are subtle allusions to her personality that are, unfortunately not expanded on. Jessa is likable, bold, outspoken, and her ability to choose who she wants to be and how she wants to live is one of her greatest superpowers. Choice, and the freedom to make those choices, even in the most dire of situations is a remarkable form of bravery and sacrifice. 
  • The romance. It’s sexy, flirty, a sort of love/hate attraction that simmers and escalates quickly. The attraction is undeniable and yet, somehow innocent despite the innuendo. They’re discovering each other. They’re puzzled and confused by their bond that seemed to develop overnight and while this usually feels like instalove, this felt right. 

CONS:

  • Jessa’s personality is slightly stunted by the fact that her hobbies and her likes are downplayed and glossed over. There are mentions of them throughout, but they’re far and few between. Jessa’s advocacy, her selflessness could have been emphasized sooner. That compassion was always there. Things like her love of hoverboard, parkour, that’s the side that we don’t see that I would have liked to. 
  • The world in Forget Tomorrow is defunct now, there’s not too much interaction with the world as it is now. 10 years have passed, I would have felt more in tune with this new world had there been a summary or precise breakdown of what changed. There’s not much dealing between the divided compound of Harmony and the outside world. It felt as though time was super short and the book took place over a time span that was lightning speed for what happened. 
  • If you haven’t ventured back into Forget Tomorrow since the last time you read it, Remember Yesterday will be a rough and abrupt start. I had no clue what was going on and scrambled to remember what happened in book 1. 

OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES:

forgetGoodreads

syn

Imagine a world where your destiny has already been decided…by your future self.

It’s Callie’s seventeenth birthday and, like everyone else, she’s eagerly awaiting her vision―a memory sent back in time to sculpt each citizen into the person they’re meant to be. A world-class swimmer. A renowned scientist.

Or in Callie’s case, a criminal.

In her vision, she sees herself murdering her gifted younger sister. Before she can process what it means, Callie is arrested and placed in Limbo―a prison for those destined to break the law. With the help of her childhood crush, Logan, a boy she hasn’t spoken to in five years, she escapes the hellish prison.

But on the run from her future, as well as the government, Callie sets in motion a chain of events that she hopes will change her fate. If not, she must figure out how to protect her sister from the biggest threat of all.

Callie herself.

authorPintip cropped-2

Website/Twitter/Facebook/Goodreads/Newsletter/Instagram

Pintip Dunn is a New York Times bestselling author of YA fiction. She graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the Yale Law Journel.

Pintip is represented by literary agent Beth Miller of Writers House. Her debut novel, Forget Tomorrow, won the RWA RITA® for Best First Book. Her other novels include The Darkest Lie and the forthcoming Remember Yesterday.

She lives with her husband and children in Maryland.

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If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

 

Epic reading, 

Jordan

Release Blitz & Giveaway: Remember Yesterday by Pintip Dunn

Remember Yesterday | Release Blitz | JenHalliganPR.comRemember Yesterday by Pintip Dunn | A Book and a Latte | bookandlatte.comGoodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo

REMEMBER YESTERDAY (Forget Tomorrow #2)
Publisher: Entangled Teen

Publication: October 4, 2016

syn

Sixteen-year-old Jessa Stone is the most valuable citizen in Eden City. Her psychic abilities could lead to significant scientific discoveries―if only she’d let TechRA study her. But after they kidnapped and experimented on her as a child, cooperating with the scientists is the last thing Jessa would do.

But when she discovers the past isn’t what she assumed, Jessa must join forces with budding scientist Tanner Callahan to rectify a fatal mistake made ten years ago. She’ll do anything to change the past and save her sister―even if it means aligning with the enemy she swore to defeat.

Excerpt

I lift my eyes to meet his, and I reach into the future—his future. The vision pours into me. The future Tanner grabs me and kisses me. Without warning, without hesitation. It is hot and searing and exquisite. And I like it. Oh, how I like it.

“No!” I fall out of the vision and scoot away from him, so far that I approach the edge of the platform. My pulse is thundering; my nerves are jumping. Oh, Fates. What’s wrong with me? Is it because I don’t want him to kiss me? Or because I want it too much?

His eyes turn watchful. “Come back here, Jessa. You’re too close to the sky.”

I look into the open space, fluffy with wads of cotton-ball clouds. I take a breath, hoping to inhale some of the sky’s serenity. He doesn’t know about the kiss. Why would he? In the vision, he acted impulsively, without premeditation. The desire to kiss me hasn’t arisen in him yet. Maybe I can prevent it from cropping up altogether.

“Look, you don’t want to kiss me,” I babble, staying where I am. And hope I sound more reasonable than I feel. “It’s only because we talked about kissing the other day. When you talk about something, you give it life. Make it real. Like an annoying song you can’t get out of your head.”

He creeps toward me, his eyes flicking between my face and the sky. “So you can’t get the idea of kissing me out of your head?”

“I said it was annoying. Like a song. Not based on anything real.”

He stops five feet from the edge of the platform. “So let me get this straight. You saw into the future and we kissed. Right?”

“Y-yes,” I stutter, shocked that he guessed the truth so easily. “But it doesn’t have to happen that way,” I add quickly. “As my sister proved, we’re in control of our own fate. We can make any future we wish.”

“Unless this is our Fixed.” His voice is low, rough. And yet, every syllable imprints into my memory forever. “Unless this kiss is so important, it happens in every one of our worlds.”

“It’s just a kiss. How can it be that important?”

His eyes glitter with the challenge. With one last look at the platform’s edge, he crawls to me, slowly but steadily. “The path of our particular world might depend on this kiss. Would you risk our future just to be stubborn?”

And then, he’s right in front of me. He rests his hands lightly on my back. They slide down to my waist, until his fingers brush against the strip of bare skin between my pants and top. I shiver, and my skin pebbles into a million goose bumps. He pulls me against him. So much of my body is touching his that I can’t think; I can’t breathe. All I can do is feel. His trembling breath. My hammering heart. His shaking hands—or hell, maybe that’s me, vibrating against his touch.

Our lips are inches apart. Time blends together. You couldn’t move me from this spot if the world were crashing down around us.

“I thought I wasn’t your type,” I whisper.

“You’re not,” he says. “But for the fate of our world, I’m willing to make the sacrifice.”

And then, he closes the gap between us.

authorPintip cropped-2Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Pintip Dunn is a New York Times bestselling author of YA fiction. She graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language, and received her J.D. at Yale Law School.

Pintip is represented by literary agent Beth Miller of Writers House. Her debut novel, FORGET TOMORROW, won the RWA RITA® for Best First Book. Her other books include THE DARKEST LIE and REMEMBER YESTERDAY.

She lives with her husband and children in Maryland. You can learn more about Pintip and her books at www.pintipdunn.com

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Enter for your chance to win $25 Gift Card to Amazon or Book Depository (International)

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Fierce reading, 

Jordan

ARC Review & Giveaway: The Darkest Lie by Pintip Dunn

darkest liethe darkest lieGoodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

syn

“The mother I knew would never do those things.

But maybe I never knew her after all.”

Clothes, jokes, coded messages…Cecilia Brooks and her mom shared everything. At least, CeCe thought they did. Six months ago, her mom killed herself after accusations of having sex with a student, and CeCe’s been the subject of whispers and taunts ever since. Now, at the start of her high school senior year, between dealing with her grieving, distracted father, and the social nightmare that has become her life, CeCe just wants to fly under the radar. Instead, she’s volunteering at the school’s crisis hotline—the same place her mother worked.

As she counsels troubled strangers, CeCe’s lingering suspicions about her mom’s death surface. With the help of Sam, a new student and newspaper intern, she starts to piece together fragmented clues that point to a twisted secret at the heart of her community. Soon, finding the truth isn’t just a matter of restoring her mother’s reputation, it’s about saving lives—including CeCe’s own…

review

3.5/5 Stars

***I received this ARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via the author and with participation in this tour. 

+++Contains triggers: child pornography, violence, disturbing images

The Darkest Lie a gripping mystery that deals with loss, forgiveness, and how to survive when the world around you seems to be falling apart and you’re tumbling off your axis. 

READ THIS BOOK IF:

  • You’re into puzzles and fashion yourself an amateur sleuth
  • You’re all about the swoon
  • You’re searching for hard-hitting, relevant, and extremely important subjects that apply to real life

PROS:

  • There are so many important and crucial things in this story that apply to today’s teens, especially in the age of social media. Crisis hotline centers are a huge asset for anyone feeling lost or alone and who wants someone to talk to, even a stranger. The moments in the hotline center, though brief, are uplifting and hopeful. They show that even the smallest of comforting words or just listening can make all the difference in the world. Pornography rings also feature prominently in this story, specifically how predators lure and blackmail their victims into cutting everyone out of their life until they only one they have left is their abuser. This pattern is real and terrifying and I can only hope that this story will bring awareness to the dangers and how easily it is to become a victim in what seems like a healthy, happy relationship as well as in one initiated online. 
  • The lurid and horrific details of CeCe’s mother’s death are mingled throughout the story, but are revealed in startling, blunt imagery. The pieces, much like the clues that CeCe’s mom leaves behind will make your skin crawl. They’re possessive, violent, and the suspense will keep you on edge. Jumpy. 
  • Sam and CeCe are adorably goofy. Sam has a vibrant personality with eclectic taste and so much passion for what he believes in. The dorky was he dresses, that ridiculous scooter, all the elbow pads and too short pants are incredibly cute, in a way that’s unique and surprising. The anticipation, waiting for them to finally cross the friendship boundary is agony. You can’t help but ship their bizarre brand of attraction. 
  • That journal. Chilling, graphic, all sorts of terrifying because it is so real and could happen to anyone. CeCe’s mother’s secrets and abuse are heartbreaking and raw. The emotions and fears are intense and scary. 

CONS:

  • For the bulk of the story, the pacing is pretty slow before anything cryptic or creepy happens. There’s a lot of random, everyday, mundane things going on that highlight CeCe’s usual high school experience, but don’t really pull you in off the bat. 
  • I wasn’t sold on CeCe. Of all the characters in the book, CeCe seems the least developed to me. Her voice isn’t particularly strong, she’s awkward, has babbling outbursts, and says some offhand, cruel, and crude things about her mother that sort of turned me off to her personality a few times. While CeCe is a shell of who she once was after her mother’s death and withdraws from everyone around her, her resentment is crazy strong, and a little selfish. 

authPintip cropped-2Pintip Dunn graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the YALE LAW JOURNAL. She also published an article in the YALE LAW JOURNAL, entitled, “How Judges Overrule: Speech Act Theory and the Doctrine of Stare Decisis,”

Pintip is represented by literary agent Beth Miller of Writers House. She is a 2012 RWA Golden Heart® finalist and a 2014 double-finalist. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Washington Romance Writers, YARWA, and The Golden Network.

She lives with her husband and children in Maryland. You can learn more about Pintip and her books at www.pintipdunn.com.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

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TheDarkest Lie by Pintip Dunn The DarkestLie by Pintip Dunn

Giveaway ends May 14, 2016.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

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OTHER TOUR STOPS

May 1st – Avid Reader Musings

May 2nd – Reader Girls

May 3rd – Alice Reeds

May 5th – YA Book Madness

May 6th – Wandering Bark Books

May 9th – The Bookdragon

May 10th – Library of a Book Witch

May 11th – Journeys from Ayrden

May 12th – The Cursed Empire

May 13th – The Bibliophile Confessions

May 16th – All For Love of the Word

May 17th – With Love for Books

May 18th – Bridget’s Book Bungalow

May 19th – Bookish Escapes

May 20th – Mad for Books Luv

May 23rd – Lilians Book Stuff

May 24th – Actin’ Up with Books

May 25th – For Love of Books4

May 27th – Bibliophile Soprano

May 30th – Miss Riki

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

Read on, 

Jordan

Excerpt Blitz & Giveaway: The Darkest Lie by Pintip Dunn

The Darkest Lie by Pintip Dunn - JenHalliganPR.comThe Darkest Lie | JenHalliganPR.comGoodreads/Amazon/Barnes & Noble

Release Date: June 28, 2016

syn

“The mother I knew would never do those things. But maybe I never knew her after all.”

Clothes, jokes, coded messages…Cecilia Brooks and her mom shared everything. At least, CeCe thought they did. Six months ago, her mom killed herself after accusations of having sex with a student, and CeCe’s been the subject of whispers and taunts ever since. Now, at the start of her high school senior year, between dealing with her grieving, distracted father, and the social nightmare that has become her life, CeCe just wants to fly under the radar. Instead, she’s volunteering at the school’s crisis hotline—the same place her mother worked.

As she counsels troubled strangers, CeCe’s lingering suspicions about her mom’s death surface. With the help of Sam, a new student and newspaper intern, she starts to piece together fragmented clues that point to a twisted secret at the heart of her community. Soon, finding the truth isn’t just a matter of restoring her mother’s reputation, it’s about saving lives—including CeCe’s own…

“This one will tug your heart and leave you breathless!”
–Natalie D. Richards, author of Six Months Later

Excerpt

It’s time to view the body. Family first.

Well, technically, me first. There was always only three of us in the nuclear unit, and Dad’s been locked in the den for the past seventy-two hours. I’ve only seen him once, when he shuffled upstairs like a pajama-clad zombie and asked me if I’d eaten.

That was it: Did you eat?

Not: I prefer the cherry wood casket. Or: Let me make your grandma’s travel arrangements. Or even: I know this was Mom’s favorite dress, but isn’t the neckline a little…low?

Did I eat?

Yes, Dad. I had soup from the can and microwaved pizza rolls and a bowl of cereal. The food sloshes in my stomach now as I walk down the runner to the casket I picked out because of its mauve tint.

Calla lilies pile in urns around the viewing room, and the air-conditioning wars with the sweat along my hairline. My mom smiles at me from a portrait erected behind the casket. Her eyes are hesitant and a little wary, as if she knew, somehow, some way, she would wind up here. Lifeless. Pumped full of formaldehyde. About to be gawked at by a town full of gossips.

This was only going to end one of two ways—with Tabitha Brooks dead or in jail. I never thought I’d say this, but I’d give anything to see my mother behind bars.

I wade through the dense, chilly air and stop a few feet from the body. Behind me, my grandmother and aunt sit, a box of tissues between them, blowing their noses like it’s a sport.

“Look at our Cecilia,” Gram sniffs. “So brave. Not a single tear shed.”

If she only knew. I’m not brave. Fifteen minutes ago, I was retching into the toilet bowl. Five minutes from now, when the doors open for the visitation, I’ll be long gone, leaving Gram to shake people’s hands and deal with the bit lips, the knowing eyebrows, that inevitable speaking-in-a-funeral-parlor whisper. I can hear the titters: “Is it true? Tabitha’s heart stopped while she was boffing the high school quarterback? Why, she must’ve been twenty years his senior!”

Twenty-three years, to be exact, and a high school English teacher to boot. But she didn’t actually die during sex. Instead, a few days after Tommy Farrow came forward with their affair, my mother took her own life.

What could be a clearer admission of guilt? She might as well have been caught in the act. The investigation was shut down before it even began.

I take a shuddering breath. Two more minutes. A hundred and twenty seconds and then I can leave. I steel my shoulders and walk the final steps to my mother’s body.

Oh god. It’s even worse than I thought.

The room whirls around me, and nausea sprints up my throat. My hands shoot out to grab the casket, stopping short of actually touching the corpse.

This . . . this thing . . . can’t be my mother. She never smiled like that, all serene and peaceful-like. She never wore this much makeup; her red hair was never chopped so closely to her head. My mother was chaos and passion, devastation and joy. Dad used to say you could reach deep into her eyes and pull out a song.

Well, her eyes are closed now, and I’m not sure there’ll be any music in my life, ever again.

authPintip cropped-2

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Pintip Dunn graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the YALE LAW JOURNAL. She also published an article in the YALE LAW JOURNAL, entitled, “How Judges Overrule: Speech Act Theory and the Doctrine of Stare Decisis.”

Pintip is represented by literary agent Beth Miller of Writers House. She is a 2012 RWA Golden Heart® finalist and a 2014 double-finalist. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Washington Romance Writers, YARWA, and The Golden Network.

She lives with her husband and children in Maryland. You can learn more about Pintip and her books at www.pintipdunn.com.

giveawayThe Darkest Lie Blitz | Prize Pack | JenHalliganPR.com

One winner will receive a prize pack including the following 5 books: Forget Tomorrow by Pintip Dunn; Six Months Later by Natalie Richards; Find Me by Romily Bernard; and From Where I Watch You by Shannon Grogan; Lies I Told by Michelle Zink

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The Darkest Lie by Pintip Dunn

The Darkest Lie

 

by Pintip Dunn

 

Giveaway ends March 28, 2016. See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

 

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 Pleasant reading, 

Jordan

ARC Review: Forget Tomorrow-Pintip Dunn

FINAL COVERGoodreads/Amazon/B&N/iBooks

“He nestles his chin on my head and we fit together perfectly, like two pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Perfectly, like two halves of a broken heart.”

***

“Maybe when we built a world based on images of the future, we bargained away our dreams. We traded in the passion of our souls, the passion that burns on hope and desire and possibility. And all we got in return was security. Goals already achieved. A life already lived.”

synImagine a world where your destiny has already been decided…by your future self.

It’s Callie’s seventeenth birthday and, like everyone else, she’s eagerly awaiting her vision―a memory sent back in time to sculpt each citizen into the person they’re meant to be. A world-class swimmer. A renowned scientist.

Or in Callie’s case, a criminal.

In her vision, she sees herself murdering her gifted younger sister. Before she can process what it means, Callie is arrested and placed in Limbo―a hellish prison for those destined to break the law. With the help of her childhood crush, Logan, a boy she hasn’t spoken to in five years, she escapes.

But on the run from her future, as well as the government, Callie sets in motion a chain of events that she hopes will change her fate. If not, she must figure out how to protect her sister from the biggest threat of all—Callie, herself.

review4/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Entangled: Teen

READ THIS BOOK IF:

  • You have a siblings.
  • You’re looking for scifi that isn’t overwhelmingly scientific or supernatural.
  • You’re a fan of friends to lovers romances.

PROS:

  • The concept is brilliant. The hidden depths that the society will go to to protect their fragile tech-based utopia is sickening and demoralizing. The sheer disregard for human life for the sake of progress in horrifying and in the vein of Ray Bradbury. Punishment before the crime, completely dismisses free will. Everyone is a prisoner but fooled into believing they’re free. 
  • Sisterhood. The moments between sisters are short but beautiful and important. You feel every smile, every worry, everything builds wonderfully. The bond is strong enough to overcome all and risk everything. 
  • Callie and Logan. I adore romance that builds slowly over time. From sweet childhood memories to rekindling of feelings that had been long buried. Callie and Logan have an innocent, honest romance built on the fact that they’ve never forgotten who they were as children, the good and the light at the core of their souls. Parts are sensual, others are perfectly awkward as are with any budding relationship. They’re learning each other and it’s refreshing.
  • THAT ENDING. I’m still trying to come to terms. Shocking and unexpected don’t even begin to describe that twist. 

CONS:

  • The pacing alternates between achingly slow and absurdly fast. There’s no middle ground. The shift from adrenaline-packed danger and fear to menial, survival tactics was sharp and jarring, it felt like two stories that didn’t link up as well as they could have. Despite the connections between the Underground and the safe haven to the main society, that whole section felt like Callie was looking at it from the outside. 
  • Some parts were a little predictable and others were loose ends. There are mentions of time travel and other clues that may evolve into book two but left tons of questions by the end. 

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

hshb07ed2b3d579a684259496ade910dd6a9ce0e30d1Rite-of-Rejection-CoverFeuds-–-Avery-Hastings

The_Revealed-Jessica_Hickam1954083281MwMVpjdtL15792316

Pleasant reading, 

Jordan

Interview: Forget Tomorrow-Pintip Dunn

FINAL COVERGoodreads/Amazon/B&N/Kobo/iBooks/Book Depository

Publisher: Entangled TEEN

Release Date: November 3, 2015

synImagine a world where your destiny has already been decided…by your future self.

It’s Callie’s seventeenth birthday and, like everyone else, she’s eagerly awaiting her vision-a memory sent back in time to sculpt each citizen into the person they’re meant to be. A world-class swimmer. A renowned scientist.

Or in Callie’s case, a criminal.

In her vision, she sees herself murdering her gifted younger sister. Before she can process what it means, Callie is arrested and placed in Limbo-a hellish prison for those destined to break the law. With the help of her childhood crush, Logan, a boy she hasn’t spoken to in five years, she escapes.

But on the run from her future, as well as the government, Callie sets in motion a chain of events that she hopes will change her fate. If not, she must figure out how to protect her sister from the biggest threat of all-Callie, herself.

int

  1. What sparked the idea for this unique dystopian society?

I was lying down for a hazy, mid-afternoon nap with my son and contemplating my writing career. Wouldn’t it be great, I thought, if a future me could send a memory back to myself, so that I would know if I succeeded as an author and whether those long hours and heartache were worth it? My mind immediately jumped to the next thought: “Hey! That would make a cool world for a book.” I’d already decided I wanted to write my next novel about sisters, and in particular, the protective, maternal love a teenage girl can have for her much younger sister. What would be the worst memory a girl like this could receive? I asked myself. The answer was obvious: a memory in which she saw herself killing the sister she swore to protest. And voila! Even before my son woke up from his nap, a story was born.

2. Logan is a surprisingly endearing and warm character. What would you say makes him a contender for the next book boyfriend? (I’ve certainly got my list)

Ha! I completely adore Logan. He had my heart from the moment he appeared on my page. I would say some of his best qualities are as follows:

Thoughtful: He used to bring Callie a red leaf every day to remind her of the sun.

Brave: At great personal risk to himself, he rescued Callie from Limbo, a hellish prison for those destined to break the law.

Sensitive: Logan cares deeply about his family and is haunted by his inaction five years ago, which he believes put his brother in jeopardy. 

Capable: Logan is the consummate outdoorsman. There’s nothing he can’t do — build a fire, navigate a map, side-stroke across a river, dragging Callie on his hip. 

Believes in Callie: When Callie has doubts and fears the person she will become, he believes in her strength and her love for her sister. 

3. What are the most important lessons learned from Forget Tomorrow?

I think the most important lesson in Forget Tomorrow is that you have to live for today. In this world, the people have placed all of their hopes and dreams into the future, and everything is a countdown to the day that they receive their future memories. The students call each other by their birthdays, and they are ordered in their classes, not by height or grades or alphabetical last names, but by the time remaining until they receive their future memories. 

However, as Callie finds out, sometimes the future doesn’t tell you want you to want to hear. As she goes from Limbo to Harmony, she meets people who have been paralyzed by their futures, As she witnesses them sacrificing their own happiness for what may or may not occur, she learns that the only way to live — the only way to continue breathing — is to forget about tomorrow and live for today. 

4. Have you started on book 2?

Yes! I am writing book 2, Remember Yesterday, right now and having a blast doing it. The story is completely worked out; I’m just in the process of putting words to paper. I’m so excited for everyone to read Jessa’s story, and I’ve even seen the cover for this book already. Hint: it is STUNNING. I might even be more in love with it than the cover for Forget Tomorrow, if that’s possible. (Okay, maybe not possible. Lol.)

You can read more about Remember Yesterday on Goodreads. You can even pre-order it on Amazon! 

5. Do you have a favorite quote that shows what captures the feeling of the story?

I’d love to quote you some song lyrics from “Crystal Ball,” which was a song written by David Elliott Johnson and Kimberly Brown for FORGET TOMORROW. These are not my words, but they perfectly capture what Callie is thinking and feeling at the beginning of the novel. So much that I cried the first time I heard this song: 

You’re not alone
Not on your own
You’ve got me I’ve got you
For everything you’re going through
If you believe
In what I see
You won’t worry about tomorrow at all
cause I can show you in my crystal ball

The lyrics are even more beautiful when Kimberly Brown sings them with that stunning, crystal-clear voice! This song just kills me every time I hear it.

If you haven’t heard “Crystal Ball” yet, you can listen to a teaser of the song here: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0qpJyUltrs


6. What inspires you to write?

Nothing and everything. What do I mean by that? Nothing, because when you write for a profession you can’t wait for inspiration. You have to write every day (or almost every day) because otherwise, the book will never be finished. Many times, my best inspiration will come after I sit down and start putting words to paper. 

Everything, because I take inspiration from everything that I do, from the people I see, from the thoughts I have, and from the emotions I feel. I will say, though, that witnessing something beautiful — in particular, nature — fills me up with an emotion that I want to express. However, the way it is expressed often takes place in the form of ideas that I get from going about my daily life. 

7. Do you have any bizarre writer’s quirks?

I think my writing process is pretty unique. After I get an idea and spend a bit of time brainstorming and plotting, I write what I like to call a “zero draft.” This “zero draft” is essentially the same as as the “fast draft” that many writers do — write the story down as fast as you can, without editing and making sure your words are “pretty.” The difference is that most writers will then take this draft and revise and polish it. I throw the entire thing away, hence the “zero draft.” I then re-plot, working out any story or character problems, and then I rewrite the entire manuscript slowly. During the “zero draft” stage, I’ve written 14k words in one day. During the slow re-write, it is more like 1k a day, although this will ramp up towards the end. 

Oh, and I write on my iPhone. Because of long-standing fibromyalgia/RSI, I can’t type on a keyboard without considerable pain. So my last four novels have been written on my iPhone!

8. Do you have advice for aspiring writers?

Persevere. The path to publication is long and hard and riddled with rejection — at least it is for most people. You don’t need a particularly thick skin, but you do need the ability to get up when you’re knocked down and try again. 

Moreover, unless you are one of the lucky few, story-telling is truly a craft that must be learned through years of practice and thousands of words upon the page. If you truly love it, stay the course — and that will put you miles ahead of the others who have quit when the business got too hard. Hint: the writing business is always hard. 

9. What’s your favorite part of the writing process?

Gosh, this is a hard question, because I kinda like all of it! I think my two favorite are the “zero draft” stage (see above) because this is when the story comes to life and then the re-write stage, where I get to make my words pretty. So, surprise, surprise my favorite parts are the writing parts. Like I said, I do enjoy editing but that feels more like “work,” while the writing feels more like joy. 

authPintip cropped-2Website/Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Goodreads

Pintip Dunn graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the YALE LAW JOURNAL. She also published an article in the YALE LAW JOURNAL, entitled, “How Judges Overrule: Speech Act Theory and the Doctrine of Stare Decisis,”

Pintip is represented by literary agent Beth Miller of Writers House. She is a 2012 RWA Golden Heart® finalist and a 2014 double-finalist. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Washington Romance Writers, YARWA, and The Golden Network.

She lives with her husband and children in Maryland. You can learn more about Pintip and her books at www.pintipdunn.com

Keep reading and check back for my review of Forget Tomorrow on November 3rd!

Jordan