First of all, I LOVE the cover:
And here's the blurb from the publisher:
Every flame begins with a spark.
Ashline Wilde is having a rough sophomore year. She’s struggling to find her place as the only Polynesian girl in school, her boyfriend just cheated on her, and now her runaway sister, Eve, has decided to barge back into her life. When Eve’s violent behavior escalates and she does the unthinkable, Ash transfers to a remote private school nestled in California’s redwoods, hoping to put the tragedy behind her. But her fresh start at Blackwood Academy doesn’t go as planned. Just as Ash is beginning to enjoy the perks of her new school—being captain of the tennis team, a steamy romance with a hot, local park ranger—Ash discovers that a group of gods and goddesses have mysteriously enrolled at Blackwood…and she’s one of them. To make matters worse, Eve has resurfaced to haunt Ash, and she’s got some strange abilities of her own. With a war between the gods looming over campus, Ash must master the new fire smoldering within before she clashes with her sister one more time… And when warm and cold fronts collide, there’s guaranteed to be a storm.
Sounds awesome right? Yeah, I can tell you right now: IT IS!
I went into this book with super-high expectations. Not only is Karsten one of my favorite authors online (his vlogs and tweets crack. me. up.) but I'd had several friends email me for no other reason than to tell me: YOU HAVE TO READ WILDEFIRE. So this is one of the few books where *I* emailed my publicist contacts and begged for an ARC, rather than the other way around. Which meant WILDEFIRE had a lot to live up to when I opened to the first page. Fortunately, it completely delivered!
There are SO many things I love about WILDEFIRE, but I think what I love best is that it's DIFFERENT. I mean, I read a LOT of ARCs, and sometimes they start to blur together in my head. But WILDEFIRE is like a breath of fresh air. Don't believe me? Here are 5 things that set it apart from the other books out there and make it awesome:
Yay--it's not a Dystopian!!!
No offense to the dystopians out there--I love so so so many of them. But I gotta admit, I'm growing weary of books about a post-apocalyptic/domineering/corrupt world where one teen (or group of teens) must rise against the oppressors and break free. So THANK YOU Karsten for giving me something a little lighter and a lot more fun, but still with top notch writing and a killer plot!
Yay for lesser known myths!!!
I'm not much of a mythology buff--and yet it always seems like the myth-based books feature all the same gods, goddesses, myths and legends I've heard of before. So I loved that for once I wasn't hindered by my own preconceived ideas about the characters, based on what I knew of their mythology. They were all new to me, and I could get to know their awesomeness through the story, and the story alone.
Yay for diversity!!!
I'm not one of those people who feels all books have to have diversity--I personally think it depends on the story, and that the diversity should make sense, so it doesn't feel like insert-token-ethnic-character-here. And that's what's so awesome about WILDEFIRE. Karsten chose mythologies from places like Polynesia, so we have a diverse cast of characters whose ethnicity is a perfect, integral part of the story. Not to mention a really cool mix of kids and personalities and histories.
Yay for authenticity!!!
Writing teens accurately is hard. Writing teen girls accurately is even harder--especially for a GUY writer. But that wasn't enough of a challenge for Karsten. He decided to depict teenage gods and goddesses--most notably teenage storm and volcano goddesses. And he let them be just as volatile as you KNOW they would be if they really existed. I've seen a few strange/confusing reviews of this book, where the person claimed that the characters were too short tempered, too extreme in their actions--and I've wanted to take them by the shoulders and say but...they're STORM AND VOLCANO GODDESSES!!!! It wouldn't make sense if they were anything other than extreme and volatile. That's one of the things I love the best about the book!
Yay for unexpected twists and turns!
I don't want to ruin it for you--so I'm not going to say much here. But this book will definitely keep you guessing. And just when you think you have it all figured out, the last 2 pages will blow. you. away. and leave you ready to track Karsten down and wrestle his laptop away from him so you can read book 2 right. this. second. (I'm still tempted by this idea...)
Seriously guys--I could keep going. I haven't even started on the books almost episodic structure or the sheer awesomeness of the writing, but I think I've rambled enough. So I'll finish by saying: READ IT. Add it to your TBR list. And when it comes out in July, go pick up a copy.
Or...you could win my ARC. That's right--I'm parting with another one of my precious books for YOU GUYS, because you guys deserve to have a shot to read this awesome, awesome book. So I'm giving away my ARC to one lucky commenter on today's post.
To enter, simply follow my blog and leave a comment by 11:59 pm PDT on Saturday June 4th. I'll pick one random winner and post their name on Sunday June 5th. International entries welcome. And since I have a feeling a lot of you will want to win this, I'll give one extra entry if you tweet, blog, or post on FB about this contest (which means if you do all 3 you could have a maximum of 4 entries total). Just let me know you did in your comment.
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