I won't be posting these regularly, but hey, it's our first.

School Library Journal

BROWN, Rachel Manija & Sherwood Smith. Stranger. 432p. Viking. Nov. 2014. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780670014804; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9781101615393.

Gr 7 Up–Intrigue, feuds, hypocrisy, and a love triangle fill the pages of this dystopian tale narrated by a diverse cast of characters in alternating chapters. After a solar flare, all electronic devices are useless. A mysterious, wounded stranger wanders into Las Anclas (formerly Los Angeles) with a secret; Ross has narrowly escaped the diabolical ruler Voske, who desires a rare book that Ross possesses. Mia’s family shelters Ross as he heals and receives warrior training from 16-year-old Jennie, Mia’s best friend and the town’s teacher. Both teens are attracted to the newcomer, and he can’t decide between them. As the town slowly warms to Ross, likewise his barriers slip away as he enjoys life in Las Anclas. Authors Brown and Smith create a village in which flora and fauna exhibit flesh-eating powers and symbiotic relationships with select people. Some humans remain “Norms” while others are “Changed,” and therein lies the only prejudice; no one looks askance at homosexuality and all races are appreciated. Some elements appear contrived and slightly pedantic: there is exactly one gay couple and one lesbian couple; [GIANT SPOILER REDACTED]; and the Norms and Changed unite in an epic battle against Voske. Despite these conventional components, Stranger is a fresh story with well-developed characters, fast-paced action, a fantastical world, and a hint of romance.–Laura Falli, McNeil High School, Austin, TX

I have to note for the record that 1) "love triangle" and "he can't decide between them" is very misleading, 2) there are actually two lesbian couples and additional non-coupled gay characters, 3) Jennie is 18, 4) classism not only exists but is a pretty major factor in the book, 5) there is only one symbiotic person/non-human relationship in the book, and it's otherwise unknown, and 6) "Norms and Changed unite" is kind of like saying, "American blacks and whites unite to pay taxes every year," ie, there was never any question of them not doing so.

But hey! She generally liked it!

Please suggest any major review blogs that might like a review copy. It's already at Booksmugglers.
cahn: (Default)

From: [personal profile] cahn

My sister runs a mostly-YA blog: Ensconced in Lit - not sure what your criteria are for major review blog, but she has 1500 followers and sometimes runs popular interviews, book giveaways, twitter parties, etc. for promotions of books she likes (and this sounds like a book she would really like). She also reviews on Goodreads.

She's currently officially closed to review requests, but I've talked about it to her and she's interested -- mention that I sent you :) Here are the details for authors if you're interested.
umbo: B-24 bomber over Pacific (Default)

From: [personal profile] umbo

Yay for the positive review! That's awesome!
kore: (Default)

From: [personal profile] kore


SIGH. I wish reviewers wouldn't do that.

But positive review! Hell yeah!
recessional: a small blue-paisley teapot with a blue mug (Default)

From: [personal profile] recessional

On the flipside, I kind of like it? If I'm looking for more than "I liked it, go read it" reviews, it's because I'm looking for a good, solid idea of what's going to happen in the story: I'm looking for things that are going to make me angry with the author/narrative (as opposed to emotional reactions appropriate to the story), because the experience of getting pissed off at a story is a really unpleasant one for me.

So I kind of appreciate it when they do that. :P If I didn't want to be spoiled, I wouldn't be reading reviews that went beyond "this is a good book."
recessional: a small blue-paisley teapot with a blue mug (Default)

From: [personal profile] recessional

That is fair enough, ys; a warning would be good (and for that matter would help me find reviews that actually tell me what the hell the story is, so would help people like me too).
londonkds: (canon ship (by redscharlach))

From: [personal profile] londonkds

It sounds rational given the audience, because school librarians and teachers probably don't want to get caught unawares by something that suddenly has a twist that is either massively traumatising to readers, or liable to cause parents to march on the school.

From: [identity profile] asakiyume.livejournal.com

Glad she liked it!

I assume you've sent it to the Diversity-in-YA folks, Malinda Lo and Cindy Pon?

From: [identity profile] jorrie-spencer.livejournal.com

I think there's a reviewer, Jia, at Dear Author who reviews YA. You could click on her reviews and see if you think that's worth a shot.

From: [identity profile] helen-keeble.livejournal.com

So apparently gay and lesbian couples are "conventional components" now, eh? *eyebrow raise*

Congratulations on the positive review, anyway!
ext_6284: Estara Swanberg, made by Thao (Default)

From: [identity profile] estara.livejournal.com

I don't have any connections there (since you already have the book at the Booksmugglers), but Wendy Darling on Goodreads and Angie from Angieville and Heidi from Bunbury in the Stacks seem fairly influential bloggers to me. Jia at Dear Author is not a bad idea, agreed.

OH, and don't forget Chachic of Chachic's Book Nook. She already is a fan of Sartorias. Other bloggers read her posts regularly, she had those weeks for Elizabeth Wein, Megan Whelan Turner and upgcoming Laura Florand - with quite a few guest posts and lots of commenters.

An author who does great reviews, too, is Rachel Neumeier if you ask me.

From: [identity profile] dancinghorse.livejournal.com

They Never Read What You Wrote. And they never get it right.

But! They liked it! Yay! Conga rats!

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com

I was just slightly staggered by the sheer number of factually wrong things in a single paragraph.
rosefox: Green books on library shelves. (books)

From: [personal profile] rosefox

I suggest sending the editor a polite note requesting that the factual errors be corrected (or asking your editor or publicist to do so). And hooray for generally liking!

From: [identity profile] anglerfish07.livejournal.com

gay and lesbian couples, conventional components? *sighs* If only...

Congratulations! I'm so glad she liked it! I've already pre-ordered Stranger on Amazon. :D
(deleted comment)

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com

My thought exactly!

Thanks for the order! I hope you enjoy it.

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