Thursday, June 28, 2012

SKYLARK review and ARC Giveaway

So. It's been a while since I've done any book reviews, for the Bookanistas or otherwise. A lot of reasons for that, not the least of which is that I got a bit burnt out on them. Not reading, just writing about them. Alas. It is what it is.

BUT there's one book that I loved so much it's monopolized my thoughts to such an extent I feel compelled to write about books again. I hate saying that...that I've been too worn out to blog about books (especially since that's not the only/primary reason it's been so long). But be that as it may, it takes reading seriously good books for me to allocate writing time for reviews. This means: you should trust me when I tell you this book I'm writing about is worth buying, reading, and then reading again. This also means: the ARC I'm giving away is not in mint condition because I've read it more than once, but it's still quite lovely and beautiful and reads like a gem. Make sure you enter to win it; short entry form is beneath the review.

SKYLARK by Meagan Spooner

From the ARC: Vis in magia, in vita vi. In magic there is power, and in power, life.
For fifteen years, Lark Ainsley waited for the day when her Resource would be harvested and she would finally be an adult. After the harvest she expected a small role in the regular, orderly operation of the City within the Wall. She expected to do her part to maintain the refuge for the last survivors of the Wars. She expected to be a tiny cog in the larger clockwork of the city.
Lark did not expect to become the City's power supply.
For fifteen years, Lark Ainsley believed in a lie. Now she must escape the only world she's ever known...or face a fate more unimaginable than death.

My Review

SKYLARK is not at all what I expected. Not to say that I actually had any expectations, other than it would be good, but I came away from it with that breathless feeling you get when a book hits you just right. Because you never know how well you'll like a book, really. (Except maybe some blockbuster everyone raves about, and even then you might end up like, "Pshaw, whatev. So he sparkled.")* But like most books that stun you when you're finished--you know, leaving you staring into a blank space not quite back to reality yet--it's really tough to express just why it was so right for you. I suppose, for me, it's because this is just the sort of book I would want to write as well as read. It has all those rich, bookish elements that make you call in sick to work or school just so you can stay in that fictional world of awesome for just a little bit longer.

On a more general plane, this book is a genre buster. Fantasy, sure. Science Fiction, too. Dystopian(ish). Romance. Mystery. A touch of steampunk. Oh, and YA. But it doesn't read like typical YA. Not that typical YA is a bad thing, or that there's even such a thing as typical YA (seriously, there probably isn't). But this is, I don't know. Glorious? Like Daughter of Smoke and Bone kind of amazing, pulling together these genres into a creation all of its own. And the magic--oh my word, the MAGIC. I was blown away. So freaking original how magic works in this world. I'm not sure if I can say this even, because it's not in the summary. So I'm treading carefully here, people. I don't want to spoil it for you. But...imagine a world where magic is everywhere. Where everyone is born a wizard of sorts. Where there are no "muggles." That fate more unimaginable than death? Yeah. Lark's role as a tiny cog in the larger clockwork of the city plays into that whole magic thing. That's what I mean about the mesh of genres--it's an incredible interweaving of fantasy and science fiction--a blend of magic and clockworks and the unfolding of a great mystery with twists that will knock you cross-eyed. You just won't see it coming.

And can I just say...the romance will make you sigh ever so dreamily. But not because it's that love-at-first-sight unrealistic kind of love. But that Catherine and Heathcliff kind of love where your souls, no matter what they are made of, are quite the same. The kind where no matter how much you turn away to save yourself, you must always turn back or risk losing who you are. Sigh sigh SIGH. It's beautiful. But real, too. As real as love can be in a fantasy. And that, folks, is because the writing is so spectacular full of rich details, characters so genuine with complicated ranges of emotions and vivid settings that feel just familiar enough to ground the reader. The thing that sucks, of course, is that just like in Wuthering Heights you have no idea how it will end up for the lovebirds. But that's what makes it so great, too. The end is not a sure thing, other than it will end when the pages stop. You'll just have to read to the end to see how it all turns out for Lark and--wait. I just realized there's no romance mentioned in the summary. Well. There is a dude, FYI. Hope I didn't just ruin that for you.

Ultimately, though, it's Lark's story. She's the hero, and a tough chick at that. Well, she doesn't start out tough. But she'll get there. Man, I love that about this book. No one's born kickass, you know. Stuff has to happen to make you steel. SKYLARK demonstrates just that. But even better? It illustrates that you can fight like a boss no matter how fragile you are. SKYLARK is a book that will stay with you, a book you'll want to come back to over and over--and find something new every time.

SKYLARK is due for release August 1, 2012.

ARC OF SKYLARK International Giveaway

CLICK HERE to Enter to Win an ARC of SKYLARK
(opens in new window)

This giveaway is international and ends Friday, July 6, midnight EST. You must be 13 years old to

enter. If you win, you will need to provide an address for shipment. Under 18's must have parent/guardian permission to enter.


THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.

The winner the ARC of SKYLARK by Meagan Spooner is:


Sarabara081


Congratulations! Please email me an address to which I can ship your ARC.


THANK YOU to all who entered! Stay tuned for my next giveaway...





*****************
Be sure to check out what the other Bookanistas are raving about today:

Elana Johnson raves about PERCEPTION.
Carolina Valdez Miller celebrates SKYLARK with an ARC Giveaway
Tracy Banghart praises 12 LITTLE BLUE ENVELOPES
















*I did actually enjoy the sparkly books, people. I'm not hatin. Just hypothesizing. Example-izing, so to speak.

52 comments:

  1. I have been wanting this book for ages! Thanks for making the contest international! :P And great review!!

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  2. Thanks for the great review. Meagan just contacted me for an interview and now you've gotten me even more dying for her ARC to come in the mail so I can immediately read it. So glad you did a review because I always enjoy reading about the books you share.

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  3. Wow, after this review, I want a copy of the book NOW and FAST. There aren't too many books that transform me like that either.

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  4. Nice review! Haven't heard of this one, but it sounds really good. You had me at Cathy and Heathcliff.

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  5. Man, i cannot WAIT to get my hands on a copy of this book!

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  6. Sounds amazing!!! Thanks for the review and intro to this multi-faceted, multi-genre book! take care
    x

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  7. Wowza, what a great review, Carol! And I've been eager for this book for a long time. :-) Meg's an agency *sister*, too, which makes it that much more fun, especially since I've been getting to know her this past year through email.

    Counting down the days until August 1. :-)

    (And just one more reason/plug for Adam's Lit, girl! Ha, ha.)

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  8. Sounds like a book I would like. Thanks for sharing. :)

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  9. This is the first real review of skylark I have read... And you have me so hooked. I cannot wait to check it out!

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  10. After reading this I know I MUST read this book.

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  11. I'm really excited to read this one... great review! Thanks!

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  12. I always love your reviews!!! Thanks so much for sharing! :-)

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  13. Great review! I just added this to my TBR this week and already cannot wait! And I love romance that creates the dreamy sighs.

    Thanks for the giveaway! :)

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  14. Wow, Skylark seems soo good!

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  15. I've been just itching to get my hands on this one. I've been craving a new fantasy novel so I can dive right in!! Sounds like a brilliant read.

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  16. Okay so no surprise I want to read this book because that's what your reviews always do for me.

    Come to think of it, I'd read a book of JUST YOUR REVIEWS.

    (And I'm not kidding even a little bit.)

    I'm so entering this giveaway. Because duh.
    I like fragile souls who can still fight like a boss.

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  17. Sounds so good, thanks so much for the chance.

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  18. Skylark seems amazing! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  19. It's good to "see" you again! This book looks like a gripping read! Thank you for the giveaway!

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  20. Malvina BeatriceJune 29, 2012 at 4:39 AM

    I must read this book,Thanks!

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  21. Malvina BeatriceJune 29, 2012 at 4:43 AM

    I tweeted via @acciomalfoyz

    http://twitter.com/Acciomalfoyz/status/218625042655875072
    (Forgotten to include in the form.)

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  22. this book sounds really good :) loved your review.

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  23. Oh, this sounds SO GOOD! Adding to the TBR! Thanks for this beautiful review!

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  24. It's funny, when you described it, I thought: That's how I felt about Daughter of Smoke & Bone. Yay for Meghan!! Good review.

    And P.S., it's okay if you don't review ALL the books. You're still amazing. And supportive.

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  25. Hi Carolina! Thanks for sharing your review on this book.

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  26. Winning this would be nice, really nice indeed. Thanks Carol.

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  27. That book sounds amazing!! Great review, Carol!

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  28. I entered! Sounds like a fabulous book. Says a lot that it got you in the reviewing mood again. Awesome!

    Thanks for the giveaway! :D

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  29. There's just something to be said for a book that captures your imagination like SKYLARK did for you. I LOVE when that happens. It's one of the main reasons I read so many books--the eternal search, eh?

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  30. Thanks for your thoughts on this book. I'm off to see if SKYLARK is on my wish list.

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  31. Ooo that sounds SO good!!! Great review, Carol. <3<3<3

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  32. I won a copy of Danny Marks 'Velveteen.' It was so exciting and a great way to spread the word about his book, especially since he lives like five or so states away. I love the idea of giving out arcs. Right on! I intend to post about it on my blog sometime, because he also gave out swag.

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  33. The description didn’t appeal to me, but your enthusiasm made me want to read it. This shows the value of an enthusiastic review!

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  34. welcome back to the reviewing! I like this one! It surely seems a nice read!!

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  35. Sounds like an interesting story. Look forward to reading it.

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  36. Skylark has such a beautiful cover :)

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  37. You are gushing...which means this is a must read! Love the title and cover as well!

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  38. Oh goodness I haven't been by your blog in forever. FOrgot how much I love your book reviews. "a world where magic is everywhere" - and a Cathy and Heathcliff kind of love? if you give that description for a book THAT ISN"T EVEN OUT YET you should have more ARCS to appease us poor panting creatures! GRIN!!!

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  39. Great review. OMG Magic, romance and a strong female character. Yay! Would absolutely love to read this.

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  40. I've seen Skylark love sprinkling around Bloglandia. I want to disappear into that cover.

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  41. thanks! The book sounds interesting and I've actually never seen this book around D:

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  42. This sounds like an amazing book. I've never heard of it, thanks for the review!

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  43. Wow, that's a pretty glowing endorsement. I must have this book now. *adds to Amazon Wish List*

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  44. I may have missed the giveaway but not the message. I will be adding this book to my TBR pile, for sure. She did not expect to become the city's power supply!!! Oh, yeah.

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