Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bookanista Review: Wildefire by Karsten Knight--AND AN ARC GIVEAWAY!!!!

So excited for today's Bookanista Review--because I FINALLY get to gush about WILDEFIRE by Karsten Knight.

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.

And...go!

For more fabulous book recommendations, check out what my fellow Bookanistas are up to today:


  • Elana Johnson sings praises for SEAN GRISWOLD’S HEAD

  • Carolina Valdez Miller adores A NORTHERN LIGHT

  • Lisa and Laura Roecker dotes over DIVERGENT

  • Megan Miranda thinks MOONGLASS is marvelous

  • Jessi Kirby praises POSSESSION

  • Carrie Harris reveals the BAD TASTE IN BOYS Book Trailer

  • Sarah Frances Hardy delves into DIVERGENT

  • Stasia Ward Kehoe delights in BITTER MELLON

  • Christine Fonseca relishes in the RED GLOVE


  • 79 comments:

    1. So excited to read this! It sounds great!

      ReplyDelete
    2. I've been wanting to read this since I first heard about it. Can't wait. For all the reasons you listed.

      I tweeted!

      ReplyDelete
    3. I hadn't heard of this but now I really want to read it. Thanks for the contest as well as the review.

      ReplyDelete
    4. Awesome giveaway! been wanting to read this... thanks for the chance!

      Extra Entries

      FB
      http://www.facebook.com/jjatanacio/posts/164100926985293

      Tweet:
      http://twitter.com/TheJay2xA/status/73708217783431168

      Blog:
      http://readinghobby2.blogspot.com/2011/05/shannon-whitney-messenger-bookanista.html

      ReplyDelete
    5. I feel like I've been hearing about this book FOREVER!

      ReplyDelete
    6. Yay! Thanks for the review and chance to win. Great cover too!
      Tweeted: http://twitter.com/#!/BritneyWyatt/status/73728797115027457
      Fb: facebook.com/britney.m.wyatt

      ReplyDelete
    7. This book sounds AMAZING. And the cover gives me goose bumps. I've wanted to read this book ever since I saw Karsten's query go up on the guide to literary agents blog 'successful queries' series.

      ReplyDelete
    8. WOW, with a review like that, who wouldn't want to read this. I know I do since I've always been intrigued by volcanoes, especially after one made most of my island (Montserrat) a danger zone. And now that I think about it, I've never read anything by a male author, so it should be interesting to see if I can sense a difference.

      Thanks for the chance :-)

      FB: http://www.facebook.com/#!/safaripoet/posts/125961447484019

      Tweet: http://twitter.com/#!/safaripoet/status/73738007240380416

      ReplyDelete
    9. What an awesome review...I'm dying to read this one! And I agree with you on Karsten's blog/tweets...he's hilarious!

      Thanks for the awesome (as usual) giveaway!
      I tweeted: http://twitter.com/jmanni32/status/73738173355790336

      jmanni32@yahoo.com

      ReplyDelete
    10. Sounds awesome! Can't wait to read it :)

      ReplyDelete
    11. I've read the first chapter, and it is quite good.

      ReplyDelete
    12. This sounds like a great book. And the cover is absolutely GORGEOUS!

      ReplyDelete
    13. omg look at that beautiful cover!
      And yeah, i'm with you on the Dystopian. Still like it - just need a bit of a break!
      Just one entry for me please!

      ReplyDelete
    14. Wow! You really made me want to get a copy of this - like, n.o.w.

      Adding your contest to my blog

      http://montanamarynotmartha.blogspot.com/

      ReplyDelete
    15. Sounds like a fascinating read. I have tweeted and facebooked the contest as well.

      ReplyDelete
    16. I saw Karsten's query for this posted somewhere (hmmm short-term memory fast fading) and the query was even more awesome than the pub's blurb. Sounds like a great concept and a fun read. Can't wait!

      ReplyDelete
    17. That IS a fabulous cover! It's going in my TBR pile right now :) Thanks for the review and thanks again for another giveaway. You're awesome.

      ReplyDelete
    18. I am a follower and email subscriber. I really want to read this book. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

      ReplyDelete
    19. Sounds awesome! It's been on my list for a few months now and I can't wait to read it :) Thanks for the chance to win the ARC!

      hollyjolly89@gmail.vom

      ReplyDelete
    20. Please enter my name, Shannon! Would love to read this!

      ReplyDelete
    21. Shannon, you rock! (Clearly not entering the contest for my own book, but just had to send a big thank you your way for this awesome, thoughtful endorsement). Good luck to everyone!

      ReplyDelete
    22. Long time follower, tweeted here and up on my blog. Sounds like a great read, Shannon!
      - Sophia.

      ReplyDelete
    23. Great review. Definitely adding this one to the tbr list. Sounds amazing!

      ReplyDelete
    24. Thanks for the giveaway!!

      Totally looking forward to this book! Ahhhh! Thanks!

      tweet: https://twitter.com/ivyreads/status/73785727082708992

      ivykiddo@gmail.com

      ReplyDelete
    25. Wow, #1, that is one heck of a review! I have an ARC of this one, and it just moved to the top of my list (after I finish Starcrossed). You are a powerful persuasive weapon for authors, you know that?! LOL. :-)

      ReplyDelete
    26. Sounds like a unique book. And the cover is gorgeous. Please enter me, thanks!
      probablyreading(at)gmail(dot)com

      ReplyDelete
    27. So.......confession:

      I have been searching for that one wrong thing about Karsten. Ya know? He's just too damn perfect. His dancing skills rock. His Twitterisms rule. And so I fully expected WILDEFIRE to be the downfall of Karsten Knight.

      Looks like I'll be on the lookout for foibles for quite some time.

      :P

      ReplyDelete
    28. This does sound like a good book :) PLUS diversity in YA is awesome!

      ReplyDelete
    29. I cant wait to read it

      Thanks for the giveaway

      amandapedulla21@hotmail.com

      ReplyDelete
    30. I've been looking for this to come out for forever and even started following Karsten on Twitter! Thanks for this chance!

      ReplyDelete
    31. You wrote this review so well! Fabulous.

      I'm DYING to get an actual copy of the book. Thanks for the chance!

      littleshelf AT gmail DOT com

      Jennifer of Little Shelf

      ReplyDelete
    32. I have heard wonderful things about this book. Would love to win it! Thanks!
      I follow blog Andreat78
      andreat78@yahoo.com

      ReplyDelete
    33. Ok this is definitely my kind of book. I wants it. Badly.

      ReplyDelete
    34. Oh. I really want this one. Thanks for the chance!
      erikadlugoATyahooDOTcom

      ReplyDelete
    35. I seriously cannot wait to read this!! loved all the facts you mentioned why you love this book now I'm pretty sure I just NEED to read it!:D

      ReplyDelete
    36. I've been seeing this around, and your review only makes me more curious. I love that it uses a different mythology! Thanks for the giveaway!

      Tweet: http://twitter.com/kangaru/status/73815975132278784

      ReplyDelete
    37. sounds great...thanks for the giveaway!!!

      GFC follower

      vidishamun@gmail.com

      ReplyDelete
    38. Thanks for this one. I've been very interested.
      follower

      Vivien
      deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

      ReplyDelete
    39. Who would NOT want this book?? Sounds great! Count me in.

      kprwrite at hotmail dot com

      ReplyDelete
    40. I'd love to read this. Thanks for the giveaway!

      erinberry12 at charter dot net

      ReplyDelete
    41. Super mythology nerd here, and I love books that delve into the lesser known mythos of different cultures; have been uber-excited since I first saw the description for this book pop up at my work computer. Thanks for the chance!
      ~Dot Hutchison
      requiemofrain(at)hotmail(dot)com

      ReplyDelete
    42. Please don't include me in the giveaway since I have an e-Galley of this and have recently won an ARC from you.

      Fantastic review! I can't wait to dive in to this book. I read the first chapter S&S had up and oh my gosh, SO GOOD!

      ReplyDelete
    43. I've been wanting to read this since I first heard about it. Can't wait!
      tweeted
      http://twitter.com/#!/chieu12/status/73878355954503680
      fb
      http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=215030595185553&id=100000493925113
      blogged
      http://minhchieusbooks.blogspot.com/2011/05/shannon-whitney-messenger-bookanista.html
      4 entries!
      blubear12@gmail.com

      ReplyDelete
    44. Like everyone else here, I'm really excited about this giveaway! (Thanks for holding it by the way. :D)

      ReplyDelete
    45. I'd love to play please.

      Already a follower of your blog.

      lesly7ch(at)yahoo(dot)com

      ReplyDelete
    46. What a great post! Thanks so much for this giveaway, I'd love read this book :)

      itzel_library@hotmail.com

      ReplyDelete
    47. Awesome giveaway! I'm on page 350 of Wildefire and I can't wait to finish it! :D

      ReplyDelete
    48. This book has been on my wishlist for a while now :). Thanks for the opportunity!

      ReplyDelete
    49. Yeah, that cover pretty much sells it. I want one of my books to be published by Simon and Schuster just so I can have their team design my cover. They do an AWESOME job!

      But what you said about lesser-known mythologies and twists and turns? Now I'm really intrigued.

      ReplyDelete
    50. Everyone wants to get their hands on this wonderful book. Karsten is amazing.

      regina.linton@gmail.com

      ReplyDelete
    51. I would love to win! It sounds SOOO good!

      ReplyDelete
    52. Just saw THOR yesterday, so I'm in my gods and goddess mind. This story sounds refreshing and original. Off to tweet this post...

      ReplyDelete
    53. Soo want to win this one. I follow via GFC quixoticdreamer


      quixoticdreamer(at)hotmail(dot)com

      ReplyDelete
    54. Tweeted

      http://twitter.com/QuixoticWeetzie/status/73959342587641856

      quixoticdreamer(at)hotmail(dot)com

      ReplyDelete
    55. I'd love to win some awesomeness! Thanks for the giveaway!

      meredithfl at gmail dot com

      ReplyDelete
    56. Tweeted
      https://twitter.com/#!/tessaa99/status/73974323261620224

      meredithfl at gmail dot com

      ReplyDelete
    57. I've been counting down the days until this book releases, so I would love to get an early glimpse! Thanks again for another amazing giveaway!!

      laura DOT ae DOT hughes @ gmail.com

      ReplyDelete
    58. new follower! thanks so much for hosting this giveaway for your fellow readers :) please enter me!

      Diana
      lovelygetaway@gmail.com

      ReplyDelete
    59. Lovely giveaway! we would really love to read this!

      email: wefancybooks AT gmail DOT com

      extra entry

      Tweet:
      http://twitter.com/WeFancyBooks/status/74074061143162880

      ReplyDelete
    60. Been wanting to read this for an age! Looks fantastic AND sounds fantastic!!!

      callmeghostgirl@yahoo.com.au

      ReplyDelete
    61. this book sounds awesome!
      ~isamlq

      isa6357(a)yahoo(dot)com

      ReplyDelete
    62. I have followed you indeed! And Karsten is SO funny. Can't wait to read this one.

      ReplyDelete
    63. I HAVE to read this book. Thanks for the review!

      ReplyDelete
    64. good interview..the cover is so pretty i can't wait to read this book so im hoping to win this contest..

      virginiamaeroque@yahoo.com

      ReplyDelete
    65. Thanks for the great giveaway!

      Tweet: http://twitter.com/#!/MT0089/status/74490283571683328

      minas_1989(at)hotmail(dot)com

      ReplyDelete
    66. Sounds great. Thanks for the chance!

      I am a followers.

      Tweet - http://twitter.com/#!/DonnaS1/status/74630926428151810

      bacchus76 at myself dot com

      ReplyDelete
    67. Great review!I want this book!
      I´m a GFC follower
      http://twitter.com/#!/Adrianaec7/status/74683797005807618

      adriana.ec[AT]gmail[DOT]com
      Thanks for the giveaway!

      ReplyDelete
    68. I've been wanting to read this ever since I first heard about it! I love mythology so you really intrigued me when you said this has a new angle on it :P

      Thank you for the giveaway!

      Tweet: http://twitter.com/#!/Entre_Libros/status/74705823477145601

      FB: http://www.facebook.com/entrelibros.blog/posts/213868601978698

      entrelibros_blog at hotmail dot com

      ReplyDelete
    69. I want to read this one...

      magabygc at gmail.com

      ReplyDelete
    70. Like you, I think Karsten is hilarious. I'm dying to read Wildefire. It's soo awesome that you really wanted it and then ended up loving it.

      Thanks for the giveaway!

      +1 tweeted
      http://twitter.com/#!/lyssad87/status/74960016800624641

      lyssad87(at)gmail(dot)com

      ReplyDelete
    71. Nothing against Percy Jackson, which I appreciated, but I'm so glad they're writing books with different mythologies! :) Count me in for the contest! :)

      ReplyDelete
    72. I've been dying to read this book for quite a while now. Thanks for the opportunity to win it!

      ReplyDelete
    73. I agree, I totally love that cover as well!

      Thanks for the contest!

      Jenna
      jennapomme[at]yahoo[dot]com

      ReplyDelete
    74. Awesome! I googled and found an excerpt of it, and now I REALLY want that ARC! :) I blogged about it here, but sadly I have no Twitter or Facebook. I hope I somehow win, though!

      ReplyDelete
    75. Oh my gosh, this wasn't even on my TBR list and I am so so excited about it now! Thanks for the contest! wilsondev(At)gmail(dot)com

      ReplyDelete
    76. You're right! This book has so much that is different, at least from what I can tell, which is why I want so badly to read it! Thanks so much for another fab giveaway!

      I'm a follower.

      +1 Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=152459564824772&id=695450277

      ~Briana
      thebookpixie[at]yahoo[dot]com

      ReplyDelete

    Yay-I love comments! Thank you so much!