Monday, May 23, 2011

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday--The 13th Reality Series (and a Giveaway!!!)

YAY--it's MMGM again! (One of my favorite days of the week!)

But we're doing things a *little* bit different today. See...sometimes I have to step back and realize that I am simply not the right person to write the feature for a series, because no matter how much I gush or rave, I will never be able to do it as well as a fangirl friend of mine.  So instead, I'm turning my blog over to her, so she can give the books the honor they deserve.

So today, we're talking about THE 13TH REALITY SERIES by the uber talented James Dashner:

Here's the blurb from the publisher:

What if every time you made a choice that had a significant consequence, a new, alternate reality was created -- the life that would've been? What if those new Realities were in danger? What if it fell to you to save all the realities?

Atticus Higginbottom, a.k.a. Tick, is a regular thirteen-year-old boy living a regular life until the day a strange letter arrives in his mailbox. Postmarked from Alaska and cryptically signed with the initials "M.G.," the letter informs Tick that dangerous -- perhaps even deadly -- events have been set in motion that could result in the destruction of reality itself. M.G. promises to send Tick twelve riddles that will reveal that on a certain day, at a certain time, at a certain place, something extraordinary will happen.

Will Tick have the courage to follow the twelve clues M.G. sends to him? Will he be able to solve the riddles in time? As M.G. warns Tick, very frightening things are coming your way. Will you join Tick and his friends on an amazing journey through the Realities? What will your choice be?

And the review is brought to you by one of my favorite people and bloggers--Ms. Shannon O'Donnell of Book Dreaming. (If you'e not following her blog--hop over there and do so immediately. You will NOT regret it). Here's what the fabulous Shannon #2 had to say:

When Shannon first asked me if I would be willing to write a guest post and drool over James Dashner for a while, I thought, Oh yeah, this girl understands me! Gotta love the #1 Shannon! So then I had to choose which book. As those of you who know me have learned, I LOVE THEM ALL. Maze and Scorch have received a lot of attention, but I still believe his 13th Reality series has not received the adoration it deserves. So . . . let’s gush! 

When I read the first book in the 13th Reality series, The Journal of Curious Letters, I thought, there is no way this was written by James Dashner. It’s nothing like The Maze Runner! Then, I became so fascinated and impressed by the difference in voice and pacing and humor and character - oh, I could go on and on - that the writer me was attacked by jealousy, big-time! I don't even want to ponder the writing talent behind such extreme stylistic differences - he's an uber-brilliant writing genius! For real.

That said, you need to know that the differences are NOT a bad thing, but actually a very good thing. The 13th Reality books are not on the same maturity level as Maze, but they are thoroughly enjoyable. Book 2 left me longing for book 3, which ended on the biggest cliff hanger of impossibility yet. Must. Have. Book 4. Soon.

I highly recommend these books, especially for those MG readers hungering for more Reading Delights. They are SO GOOD! 

Check out this cool 13th Reality Website - you'll love it!

See? Do you SEE why I needed to turn things over to her? No way could I do the series that kind of  justice.

BUT...don't just take our word for it. Read it and decide for yourself. And to help you with that, I'm giving away a paperback of book 1 in the series, THE JOURNAL OF CURIOUS LETTERS, to one lucky commenter on this post.

To enter, simply follow my blog and leave a comment by 11:59 pm PDT on Saturday, May 28th. I'll draw one random winner and post their name on Sunday, May 29th. International entries welcome! Good luck!

For more middle-grade love, check out the other MMGMs happening in the blogosphere:

-Barbara Watson is highlighting NOWHERE TO CALL HOME. Click HERE to see what she thinks.

-Myrna Foster is spotlighting JACOB WONDERBAR AND THE COSMIC SPACE KAPOW. Click HERE to read her review.

-Michael Gettel-Gilmartin is featuring ANYTHING BUT TYPICAL. Click HERE to read more about it.

-The lovely Shannon O'Donnell (aka #2) always has fabulous MG love going on at her blog on Mondays. Click HERE to see what she has going on today. 

-Anita Miller is showcasing THE GIRL WHO COULD FLY. Click HERE to learn more about it. 

-Deb Marshall is featuring LOCH & REEF OF DEATH. Click HERE to read her review. 

-Joanne Fritz is highlighting THE FRIENDSHIP DOLL. Click HERE to read her thoughts.

And if you've done an MMGM on your blog and would like me to link you, drop me an email and I'll update the post. 

Happy Monday!


  1. I really enjoyed The Maze Runner. Can't believe he has something out so quickly after book 2 in the series. I'd love to win this one!

    tmilstein at gmail dot com

  2. I never heard of this series, but it sounds great. I really enjoyed The Maze Runner, so I'm guessing I'd like this too.

    Thanks Shannon for the great review.

  3. Fabulous guest post!! Love the enthusiasm. I really want this book. It's one of those I keep meaning to buy but know I don't have the time to read it, right now. Thinking summer....

  4. This is the Maze Runner guy? Interesting.

  5. I love the Maze Runner, so I would love to give this series a try. Thanks for the chance.

  6. Everyone recommends this author to me, so I'd love to win this. :)

  7. You Shannons are an awesome team. Love the review, the teamwork, and Mondays too (for MMGM, of course.)

    Hope I can be an honorary Shannon--or a Shannon-for-the-day.

    Fingers crossed,


  8. Have I mentioned that I LOVE James Dashner?! He he. :-)

    Thanks for the honor of "guesting" on your blog, #1.

  9. The enthusiasm shines here. And thank you for the review. With two MG readers in my house (well, three, because I have to count me), we need new ideas every week!

    Thank you also, for the links over the past weeks to my MMGMs, Shannon!

  10. Awesome review! I've got one up...THE GIRL WHO COULD FLY.

  11. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this series.

  12. Don't enter me into the contest because I already have a copy, but I wanted to put a plug in for James. It was a fun read!

  13. Ooooh, sounds good! I love gushing, even for a book I've never read. :) Count me in for the contest! :)

  14. I've never heard of this before, but I really enjoyed the Maze Runner series. Thanks so much for the chance to win it!

  15. Sounds great..GFC follower

    thanks for the giveaway!!!

  16. Sounds like a great book. I love the idea behind it, very cool.

  17. Sounds great! I loved The Maze Runner and The Scorch Trials, so I'm interested to read his MG stories.

  18. I really do enjoy James Dashner. I've been thinking about diving into this series for a while now. Maybe it'll hold me over until The Death Cure comes out!!

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  19. Sounds like a great series! Another book I want to read.
    : )

  20. I haven't read anything by James Dashner yet, but I will. I love his MC's name and nickname.

  21. A great post from the two Shannons! Just some great recommends today, I must say!

  22. I haven'r read James Dashner yet, but I have him on my TBR list. I didn't know he had a middle grade series but I like when authors write different books.

    Wouldn't it be boring if they write the same type of books always?

    magabygc at

  23. I'd love to be entered to win this one for my grandson.

    follow on gfc

    mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

  24. I didn't know about this series!! Thanks Shannon(s) for the tip! :)

  25. awesome! i've been wanting to read this series.
    they sound awesome.

  26. I LOVE James' The Maze Runner, I haven't had a chance to order and read the second book but I soo can't wait!

    I'm a follower!

  27. I'd love to play please.

    GFC follower.


  28. Oh, I'd love to read this! Especially after that gushing review. Nice job, both Shannons.

  29. I absolutely loved The Maze Runner and The Death Cure, and I've been dying to get my hands on this series, only my library doesn't have it and I never buy books without reading them first. I would love to win a copy of The 13th Reality!

    elanor_gamgee [at] yahoo [dot] ca

    I'm a follower. :)

  30. Awesome! I hobnobbed with James a few weeks ago! ( I fan-girled from a distance, but still...)

    Would love to win these ~ please count me in. Thanks, Shannon!

  31. You had me at "extreme stylistic differences." I really, really, REALLY admire writers who can do that.

  32. I have really been wanting to read this series. I still haven't had the chance to read The Maze Runner either and I'd really like to give this author a try. I'm a follower, duh, and thanks for the giveaway! :D



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