Novel Secrets with Mackenzi Lee

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Today is my turn on the Novel Secrets tour hosted by Liza Wiemer. For my stop I have Mackenzi Lee, author of This Monstrous Thing sharing her secret.

Coincidence? I think NOT!

When I wrote This Monstrous Thing, I had never been to Geneva, where the novel is set. A few weeks before I got my copy edits back from my publisher, a friend and I decided to travel Switzerland end to end as a sort of belated research trip. We started in Zurich, and meandered our way through Bern, Gruyere, Lucerne, and the Alps until we finally ended up at Chateau Chillon, a castle on the shores of Lake Geneva and the basis for Oliver’s abandoned home in TMT, before we ended up in the winding streets of Geneva.

I was nervous about visiting Geneva–mostly because I was certain I would get there and discover I had gotten it totally wrong in my novel. Guide books and Google streetview can only do so much to capture the feeling of a place. On our first morning there, my friend and I made our way through the Old Town, where the Finch family lives in This Monstrous Thing, to the square I had long ago decided is the location of their shop when I mapped out the footpaths Alasdair and Oliver take in the book.

And lo and behold, what was really in that corner shop, but a restaurant called Clemence–which happens to be the name of one of the main characters in This Monstrous Thing!

Truly, I thought to myself, this is a Frankensign. ~Mackenzi Lee

Novel Secrets with Mackenzi LeeThis Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee
Published by Katherine Tegen Books
on September 22nd 2015
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In 1818 Geneva, men built with clockwork parts live hidden away from society, cared for only by illegal mechanics called Shadow Boys. Two years ago, Shadow Boy Alasdair Finch’s life shattered to bits.

His brother, Oliver—dead.

His sweetheart, Mary—gone.

His chance to break free of Geneva—lost.

Heart-broken and desperate, Alasdair does the unthinkable: He brings Oliver back from the dead.

But putting back together a broken life is more difficult than mending bones and adding clockwork pieces. Oliver returns more monster than man, and Alasdair’s horror further damages the already troubled relationship.

Then comes the publication of Frankenstein and the city intensifies its search for Shadow Boys, aiming to discover the real life doctor and his monster. Alasdair finds refuge with his idol, the brilliant Dr. Geisler, who may offer him a way to escape the dangerous present and his guilt-ridden past, but at a horrible price only Oliver can pay…

About Mackenzi Lee

Mackenzi Lee holds a BA in history and an MFA from Simmons College in writing for children and young adults.

She loves Diet Coke, sweater weather, and Star Wars. On a perfect day, she can be found enjoying all three. She currently lives in Boston, where she works as a bookseller and almost never reanimates corpses. Almost.

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Second Chance Sunday – Insurgent by Veronica Roth

With the release date Allegiant, the 3rd and final book in the Divergent series, quickly approaching I thought it would be appropriate to add Insurgent into my weekly Second Chance Sunday posts. This book seriously left me breathless. I read it on the plane coming home from Aruba and I swear I couldn’t breath when all was said and done. If you haven’t read the series, do it now before the ending comes out and wait and panic inducing misery with the rest of us!

Second Chance Sunday – Insurgent by Veronica RothInsurgent by Veronica Roth
Series: Divergent #2
Published by Katherine Tegen Books
on January 20th 2015
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
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One choice can destroy you. Veronica Roth's second #1 New York Times bestseller continues the dystopian thrill ride that began in Divergent. A hit with both teen and adult readers, Insurgent is the action-packed, emotional adventure that inspired the major motion picture starring Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ansel Elgort, and Octavia Spencer.

The paperback edition includes special bonus content by Veronica Roth.

As war surges in the factions of dystopian Chicago all around her, Tris attempts to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Review

WOW! WOW! WOW! WOW! I know, eloquent, right? The sad thing is that is the best I can do because simply put this book was just WOW! I really can’t think of another way to describe the amazingness that was Insurgent. How Roth managed to do what she did in this book is beyond me. It left me breathless and craving more by the time all was said and done.

The book starts right where Divergent left off, but from the very beginning you know this is going to be a completely different kind of journey for Tobias and Tris. You are immediately thrust into this feeling of loss and urgency that you just won’t be able to shake with each and every page you turn. Tris is now broken and she has no idea how to go on. Her parents are dead, both dying in front of her, and she took a friends life in order to save her own. It is quite clear that she is on an emotional roller coaster and when she refuses to talk to Four about it, it sets off a whole other world of issues that Tris never saw coming. As they navigate the change in their world and their relationship Tris and Tobias find out what the true meaning of trust and choice really are.

I honestly can’t gush about this book enough. I want to tell you everything that happened in it but I refuse to spoil one single second of this page turning wonder. The way Roth worked in the emotional aspects with the action aspects with the guilt Tris was feeling was pure perfection. I had loved Tobias and Tris in Divergent and in Insurgent I took on a different love for them that I can’t even describe. They just felt real and it made the story feel real. I loved them even more then I thought I could. I loved this book more then I thought I could. It had everything I hoped it would and more. And the end!!!!! Oh man that end was hardcore fantastic!

There isn’t one part of this book that I just didn’t love! And that is what I will leave you with from this rambling review. 😉

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