Book Review: Breaking Point by Kristen Simmons

Breaking Point by Kristen Simmons
SERIES. Article 5
RELEASE DATE. February 12, 2013
PUBLISHER. Tor Teen
PAGES. 400
FORMAT. Hardcover
AGE GROUP. Young Adult
GENRE/S. Dystopia, Romance
FIND IT. Amazon | Goodreads
SYNOPSIS. The second installment in Kristen Simmons’s fast-paced, gripping YA dystopian series.

After faking their deaths to escape from prison, Ember Miller and Chase Jennings have only one goal: to lay low until the Federal Bureau of Reformation forgets they ever existed.

Near-celebrities now for the increasingly sensationalized tales of their struggles with the government, Ember and Chase are recognized and taken in by the Resistance—an underground organization working to systematically take down the government. At headquarters, all eyes are on the sniper, an anonymous assassin taking out FBR soldiers one by one. Rumors are flying about the sniper’s true identity, and Ember and Chase welcome the diversion . . . .

Until the government posts its most-wanted list, and their number one suspect is Ember herself.

Orders are shoot to kill, and soldiers are cleared to fire on suspicion alone. Suddenly Ember can’t even step onto the street without fear of being recognized, and “laying low” is a joke. Even members of the Resistance are starting to look at her sideways.

With Chase urging her to run, Ember must decide: Go into hiding or fight back?

THOUGHTS. All at once, Breaking Point had me on complete attention without even the tiniest doubts and care if this sequel surpassed or attained what the first book had. All I wanted was to devour it in a flash with a sole reason in mind: to experience the cinematic and hyperventilating feeling all over again. And Breaking Point did not disappoint me at all.

Perfectly titled, Simmons ups the stakes and expands the world with the second installment to her brilliantly terrifying dystopian world making Breaking Point twice the wow its predecessor had given me. There’s never a dull moment in Breaking Point: tensions are higher, trepidations are all over the pages, and dangers are closer than ever. In other words, there’s no denying that I was in constant excitement every time I turned the pages.

But that excitement is not even enough to define everything about Breaking Point.

The characters of Ember and Chase are brought back to life with a more intriguing and more engrossing premise. There are more unexpected turn of events involve and more unpredictable developments as their characters hurtle through the core of an uprising. And as they come closer to it, secrets and lies slowly unmasks by each passing page as readers try to guess and weight between who the real allies are and who are not.

Despite the heavy and fast-paced plot, I love how Simmons beautifully brought the romantic plot slowly and steadily without losing the main objective of the story and also providing some touch of normality between all the action and cruelty. Unlike in Article 5, the integrated flashbacks now focus more of Ember and Chase’s love story with still few memories about Ember’s mother making the novel more upsettingly emotional.

Breaking Point is every dystopian reader’s dream—breathtaking, gripping, spectacular, cinematic—impossible to put down. From its first page to its very last page, Breaking Point is undeniably a roller coaster ride of action and adventure with danger, deceit, fear, grief, loss, love and survival at its core—only a dystopian like this series could give you such feelings and thoughts. It is without a doubt that Kristen Simmons has an undisputed talent in writing action-packed stories with a filmic attitude and style. Thereupon saying, I can sense a movie in the making.

But above anything else, I shall face the consequences of being a reader: the finale, the last, the conclusion, the ending to an amazing series you have grown to love. At the same time, I am prepared—prepared for whatever the cost will be.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR. Kristen Simmons has a master’s degree in social work and is an advocate for mental health. She lives with her family and their precious greyhound Rudy in Tampa, Florida.

Blog Tour - Author Interview and Giveaway: The Forgotten Ones by Laura Howard

Welcome, welcome! Today, debut author (and ninja master) Laura Howard is stopping by for an exclusive interview about her book The Forgotten Ones, the first in the Danaan Trilogy. I would bet that after reading this post, you'd be running to your favorite online book stores!

ABOUT THE BOOK
The Forgotten Ones by Laura Howard
RELEASE DATE. April 30, 2013
PUBLISHER. Laura Howard
PURCHASE. AMAZON
Add to Goodreads

SYNOPSIS. Allison O’Malley’s plan is to go to grad school so she can get a good job and take care of her schizophrenic mother. She has carefully closed herself off from everything else, including a relationship with Ethan, who she’s been in love with for as long as she can remember.

What is definitely not part of the plan is the return of her long-lost father, who claims he can bring Allison’s mother back from the dark place her mind has gone. Allison doesn't trust her father, so why would she believe his stories about a long forgotten Irish people, the Tuatha de Danaan? But truths have a way of revealing themselves. Secrets will eventually surface. And Allison must learn to set aside her plan and work with her father if there is even a small chance it could restore her mother’s sanity.

INTERVIEW WITH LAURA HOWARD

ABOUT THE AUTHOR. Laura Howard lives in New Hampshire with her husband and four children. Her obsession with books began at the age of 6 when she got her first library card. Nancy Drew, Sweet Valley High and other girly novels were routinely devoured in single sittings. Books took a backseat to diapers when she had her first child. It wasn’t until the release of a little novel called Twilight, 8 years later, that she rediscovered her love of fiction. Soon after, her own characters began to make themselves known. THE FORGOTTEN ONES is her first published novel.

Have you really seen yourself become an author?
I remember hearing author Jeff Goins say on a podcast about a year ago, you are an author as soon as you say you are. Whether you’re published or not, if you’re writing, you are an author! And I believed him!

Before becoming an author, how did you see yourself in the future when you were a kid?
I always imagined being a teacher. It was never really a question for me. That was just what I wanted. Now I’m a stay at home mom who writes books. I’d like to eventually teach other writers about marketing, because it’s something I love.

What or who inspired you to be become an author?
Initially it was Stephenie Meyer. Her books brought me out of a reading funk after becoming a Mom. She wrote while having kids, I was inspired. Now when I see beautiful writing by authors like Juliet Marillier or Holly Black or Maggie Stiefvater, I get all warm and fuzzy!

Briefly describe to us the exact feelings you got before and after you finish your first book—the writing process, getting a call from an agent, getting approved by a publisher, etc.
While I was writing the first draft, I was stressed toward the end. I put so much pressure on myself to get it right. Had I known then just how many times I’d rewrite the entire thing, I would have given myself a break. I’m self-published, so I’ll tell you what it was like to press publish. It was a pure adrenaline rush. I was high on that adrenaline all day. I woke up the next morning feeling like I’d run a marathon the day before. It was pretty intense.

Why did you choose the paranormal genre over the other genres? Do you want to explore other genre/s as well?
I’ve been into paranormal for a long time. 2012 is the first year I've really gotten into contemporary, because it’s so hot right now. Paranormal is just my first love. I actually tried writing The Forgotten Ones as a contemporary, but the paranormal just snuck in.

Tell us more about your book, The Forgotten Ones.
The Forgotten Ones is about a girl who has a schizophrenic mom and never knew her dad. She doesn’t allow anyone to become close to her, she is much too busy and focused for that. But her father’s arrival in her life changes that and she’s introduced to a whole new world with brand new challenges.

What is the most striking or unforgettable line in The Forgotten Ones?

I hadn't heard my mother say my name since I was six years old.

Did you ever base any of the characters in real life?
Yes, most of them are from characters on TV or in movies, but the main character is a mash-up of some people in my real life.

Was there a part of the story that was hard to write?
The End was horribly difficult for me. I have three or maybe even four alternate endings. When all was said and done, I went with my gut for the final scene, but I may get hate mail.

What advises can you give to aspiring authors (like me)?
Just keep writing, don’t be so darn hard on yourself. You can’t fix it up if you never write it down!

GIVEAWAY
10 E-COPIES OF THE FORGOTTEN ONES
  • To enter, follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter.
  • Giveaway is open to everyone.
  • You must be 13 years old or above to enter.
  • Winners will be notified via email.
  • Giveaway ends May 16, 2013.

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