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Prepare for Allegiant’s Release by Reviewing #Divergent

DivergentOctober 22nd isn’t far away. The much-awaited final installment of Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy will be released to the mob. Have I been stalking movie footage and photos? Yes. Am I excited for a quiet day while the world is locked inside hoarding the book, reading? Yes. Will I be among those quiet masses? Heck yes.

But don’t you hate when you forget what happened earlier in the series by the time the last book comes out? I do. Instead of rereading all 500 pages of Divergent, read this summary to refresh your memory of the plot’s highlights:

Warning: Since this post’s intent is to be helpful to those who have already read Divergent, the following is a summary. Not a review.

*Spoilers ahead.*

**Last chance to turn around.**

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Review: Starters by @Lissa_Price

 Starters is an international bestseller and the first in a duology. The second, Enders, will be released in January.Starters

Callie lost her parents when the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. She and her little brother, Tyler, go on the run, living as squatters with their friend Michael and fighting off renegades who would kill them for a cookie. Callie’s only hope is Prime Destinations, a disturbing place in Beverly Hills run by a mysterious figure known as the Old Man.

He hires teens to rent their bodies to Enders—seniors who want to be young again. Callie, desperate for the money that will keep her, Tyler, and Michael alive, agrees to be a donor. But the neurochip they place in Callie’s head malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, and going out with a senator’s grandson. It feels almost like a fairy tale, until Callie discovers that her renter intends to do more than party—and that Prime Destinations’ plans are more evil than Callie could ever have imagined. . . .

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Review: The Selection by @KieraCass

The Selection is the first in a bestselling trilogy. Be sure to check out the second, The Elite, and the novella, The Prince.
The_SelectionFor thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

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5 Ways Creative Cross-Training Can Improve Your #Writing #WriteTip

watercolor_old_fishermanAthletes train by spending grueling hours preparing for their sports. One way they do this is by cross-training.

We can do the same with writing.

Despite hours languishing in front of the keyboard, intense word sprints, or writing exercises, another way to exercise the writing muscles is to participate in another form of creative activity.

I find painting indispensable for my writing. And writing valuable for painting. They fuel each other.watercolor_Nebula_II

But how can creative cross-training be helpful?

By training your brain to function in ways also applicable to writing:

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Review: Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs @TracyWolff

Tempest Rising is the first in a trilogy. Check out the second, Tempest Unleashed, and the third, Tempest Revealed.

Tempest_Rising

Tempest Maguire wants nothing more than to surf the killer waves near her California home; continue her steady relationship with her boyfriend, Mark; and take care of her brothers and surfer dad. But Tempest is half mermaid, and as her seventeenth birthday approaches, she will have to decide whether to remain on land or give herself to the ocean like her mother.

The pull of the water becomes as insistent as her attraction to Kona, a gorgeous surfer whose uncanny abilities hint at an otherworldly identity as well. And when Tempest does finally give in to the water’s temptation and enters a fantastical underwater world, she finds that a larger destiny awaits her-and that the entire ocean’s future hangs in the balance.

Although Tempest’s mother is a mermaid, like many mermaid stories, Tempest and her family is fully aware of this, unlike many mermaid stories. She doesn’t stumble upon some hidden secret but is fully expecting her seventeenth birthday, the day she will either remain human or choose to be mermaid. (Although there is a secret involving Tempest’s future she has yet to discover.)

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Review: Edgewood and Wanderlust by @KarenMcQuestion

Edgewood and Wanderlust are the first two books in the Edgewood Series. The third, Absolution, is scheduled for release in September.
Edgewood_WanderlustThe night Russ Becker witnesses a strange astronomical event, his world changes forever. Before long Russ discovers he’s developed incredible superpowers, and he’s not the only one. Three other young people—beautiful Mallory, arrogant Jameson, and mysterious Nadia—have had the same experience and all of them now have powers of their own. Mallory can control peoples’ minds, Jameson moves objects with his thoughts, and Nadia has empathic abilities.

At first the four relish their newfound gifts, but things become serious when they learn they are being hunted by an organization that wants them for its own nefarious purposes. When Russ’s family is threatened, he’s forced into action. What transpires will change all of them in ways they never imagined.

Space? Teens with superpowers? Sign me up!

Edgewood‘s plot and characters were extremely engaging (I flew through the book). The biggest thing that stood out to me after reading it was McQuestion’s excellent job of narrating the mind of a fifteen year old boy. She handled the topic of YA sex well without being distasteful or ignoring it completely, both of which can be pitfalls in YA books.

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