Thursday, September 8, 2011

YA Review & Contest: GLOW by Amy Kathleen Ryan



Two space colonies escaping a dystopian Earth. Sinister plots. A young woman caught in a war both ideological and physical. In a nutshell, you have Glow, the new novel from Amy Kathleen Ryan being touted as “the next Hunger Games.” I’m not sure I’d go quite that far, but…. maybe. Want to win a copy? Read on!

THE OFFICIAL BLURB: If a violent battle destroyed the only world you’ve ever known, would you be brave enough to save who was left? Would love be strong enough to survive the fight? Either way, there’s no turning back. The Empyrean is the only home 15-year-old Waverly has ever known. Part of the first generation to be successfully conceived in deep space, she and her boyfriend Kieran will be pioneers of New Earth. Waverly knows she must marry young in order to have children who can carry on the mission, and Kieran, the handsome captain-to-be, has everything Waverly could want in a husband. Everyone is sure he’s the best choice. Still, there’s a part of Waverly that wants more from life than marriage, and she is secretly intrigued by the shy, darkly brilliant Seth. Suddenly, Waverly’s dreams are interrupted by the inconceivable – a violent betrayal by the Empyrean's sister ship, the New Horizon. The New Horizon’s leaders are desperate to populate the new planet first, and will do anything to get what they need: young girls. In one pivotal moment, Waverly and Kieran are separated, and find themselves at the helm of dangerous missions, where every move has potentially devastating consequences, and decisions of the heart may lead to disaster.

MY THOUGHTS: This has been one of my most enjoyable YA reads in a while, first because I like a dystopian story and second because it has none of the things that tend to annoy me in YA. If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know my list of annoyances include excessive angst, unprovoked sighing, paranormal characters who glitter, new-mysterious-boy-in-school-who’s-irresistibly-drawn-to-me syndrome, and anything with more than one scene set in a high school. None of that here.

Waverly is a strong character, but not unbelievably so. She’s engaging and you’re rooting for her well before the crap hits the fan. Kieran…well, let’s just say Kieran needs some character development. He takes a twist toward the end of the book that it will be very interesting to see how it develops as the series progresses. Seth, on the other hand, is a complex and fascinating character.

The villain in this story is not so much the rival people aboard the New Horizon, who stage a hostile raid on the Empyrean, but religious fanaticism. It’s an interesting twist and offers a lot of potential for developing a serious theme. So far, it’s only potential. Things are still very black and white, but I’m hoping in the second book Ryan will add some depth to both the good guys and the bad guys. Even YA can tolerate some depth and shades of gray.

Which brings me to the thing I didn’t like about Glow, and that I’m seeing a lot of these days—the cliffhanger ending. There are a lot of questions left hanging at the end of this book, so much so that it almost feels like a massive setup for book two in the series. I’ll definitely pick up the second book to see what happens, so that aspect of it works from a marketing standpoint. But I can’t help but be a little annoyed that there’s not more resolved before this first book ends. I wish the book had been longer, or the story less ambitious, in order to develop the characters a bit more and flesh out what could turn into a complex and fascinating plot.

Want to win a copy of Glow? You know the drill: +1 for comment, +1 for blog follow, +1 for Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and +1 for Tweet or Retweet. Howl for it!

41 comments:

  1. Oh, I'm howling! I've been waiting for a few months now for this one to come out. :) I love it when there's something different and fresh in the YA department.

    +1 for comment,
    +1 for blog follow,
    +1 for Twitter follow @vollkopf, and +1 for Tweet or Retweet
    http://twitter.com/#!/vollkopf/status/111813769721683969

    ReplyDelete
  2. YES PLEASE! Can't wait to read this!

    Giselle Cormier
    cormier.giselle at gmail dot com

    I'm a twitter follower (@Giselleco)
    I follow through GFC
    I tweeted: http://twitter.com/#!/Giselleco/status/111816596846153728

    +4
    Thanks for the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I would love to win this book :D Thank you so much for the chance. <3

    +1 comment
    +1 blog follow

    Love, Carina ~ carina-olsen@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'd better finish the original Hunger Games series before I dive into the Next Hunger Games, but this does sound like a fun read.

    I agree about the cliff hanger thing. Unless all the books come out at once, of course!

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  5. Suzanne, don't enter me, but I was just gonna ask if you wanted to read my YA and now I learn "more than one scene set in a high school." Yes, I've committed that heinous YA crime. Because, uh, teenagers go to high school just like adults go to their jobs. Okay, not writers, but real adults. You know what I mean.

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  6. LOL--Marta, I'd LOVE to read your YA! I can look over the high school part, as long as there is No Sparkling In the Lunchroom :-)

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  7. I'll send it to you! But the high school scenes will make you re-think your whole high school scene hatred. You will have a newfound appreciation for cafeterias and lockers.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I loved "The Hunger Games" and can't wait to dig into this book!

    +1 comment
    +1 blog follower: butterflyboo123
    +1 tweet follower: @GemmaInRed
    +1 Retweeted:
    https://twitter.com/#!/Suzanne_Johnson/status/111793521886900224

    butterflyboo123(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  9. I've heard good & bad comments about this book. Makes me curious.
    +1 comment
    +1 follow blog Andreat78
    +1 twitter follow @BookishAndrea
    +1 retweet

    andreat78@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. Sounds like a good book.

    +1 comment
    +1 follower
    sgiden at verizon.net

    ReplyDelete
  11. Awesome! Please count me in for this one, it sounds like a book I'd love. I can't get enough of this genre right now, so thanks for the chance at getting my hands on this book :)

    +1 comment
    +1 GFC follower Tiffany Drew
    +1 Twitter follower @enterthedrew
    +1 Tweet: http://twitter.com/#!/enterthedrew/status/111890946840477696

    jaidahsmommy(at)comcast(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  12. Sounds good, thanks for the giveaway!

    +1 Comment
    +1 blog follower
    +1 twitter follower

    Littopandaxpress(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  13. Look interesting!!! I would like to give it a try!!!!

    Thank for the giveaway!!!

    Glassheart18ca@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. Sounds really good. I love the title and the cover. Thanks for the giveaway!
    ferretvamp14[at]live[dot]com

    +1-comment
    +1-blog follower
    +1-twitter follower

    ReplyDelete
  15. Ahaha Suzane! Just read yours and Marta's comments - "no sparkling in the lunchroom" :)Loved it.
    I would love to win this book! Please enter me in.
    impy80 at hotmail dot com
    +1 comment
    +1 follower

    ReplyDelete
  16. Yes! I need me some spaceships about now!
    Thank you. This book looks amazing. It is nice to see some new scifi dystopian.

    GFC Teril

    terilhack at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  17. Dystopia, strong character and love triangle. I already love this book))) And I totally agree about cliffhangers. They are annoying.

    +1 comment
    +1 GFC follower as Sofija Kapranova
    +1 twitter follower as @soni_sonik

    kapranova.sofija@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thanks for your great review ! It sounds interesting.

    I'm a GFC follower : melliane

    ellana_(at)hotmail(dot)fr

    ReplyDelete
  19. I am SO excited about this book! I have only heard good things about it, and judging by your review, this is definitely a book I want to read!!

    +1 comment
    +1 GFC follower
    +1 Twitter follower: @jwitt33
    +1 tweeted: http://twitter.com/#!/jwitt33/status/112157531241070592

    jwitt33 at live dot com

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'd love to play please.

    +1 for comment,
    +1 for blog follow,
    +1 for Twitter follow @Brittleblue

    lesly7ch(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  21. Loving cover! Finger crossed for me!

    +1 comment
    +1 blog follower
    +1 twitter follower @aliaslucia

    ReplyDelete
  22. ahh I've been really wanting this book.

    +comment
    +blog follow as mazznixon
    +twitter as @mazznixon

    smileess_ox at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  23. YA dystopia without excessive angst? I'm in!

    +1 comment
    +1 twitter follow (@afewmorepages)
    +1 tweet: http://twitter.com/#!/afewmorepages/status/112235135574884353

    afewmorepages[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  24. The plot sounds amazing, cannot wait to read this

    +1 comment
    +1 GFC follower
    +1 twitter follow-@joleneallcock
    +1 tweeted- http://twitter.com/#!/joleneallcock/status/112246292297682944

    june111(at)att(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  25. I've been wanting to read this one for a while! I've read some really excellent reviews for it. Yours is fantastic, too!

    You have a new follower thanks to Katy @afewmorepages!

    +1 comment
    +1 Twitter follower (@Dizneeee)
    +1 blog follower via GFC

    Thanks for the chance!

    ReplyDelete
  26. wanna try this , please :)

    +1 comment
    +1 GFC follower
    +1 twitter follow (@becunique)

    uniquas at ymail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  27. This one has been on my wishlist since I read the first blurb. Romance, sci-fi, adventure, a series---what more can you ask for in a YA book!
    +1 comment
    +1 blog follower- Lisa Richards
    +1 twitter follower-@alterlisa
    +1 http://twitter.com/#!/alterlisa/status/112346353656545280
    (\___/)
    (='.'=)
    (")_(")

    alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com
    http://lisaslovesbooksofcourse.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  28. Great review, I have not had much interest in Glow, but now I do. Thanks for the giveaway and recommendation. :)
    +4 tweeted, twitter follow, GFC follow and comment

    http://twitter.com/#!/jenniferkjovus/status/112355070678536192

    jennifer k jovus
    kjovus at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  29. I could see myself enjoying this read.

    +1 comment
    +1 blog follower bhand35
    +1 twitter follower bhand35
    +1 RT

    mystery_dreams35@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  30. I don't read a lot of YA but this is one story that really interests me. Thanks for the giveaway.

    +1 comment
    +1 GFC blog follower
    Cambonified {at} yahoo {dot} com

    ReplyDelete
  31. +1 Glow is on my wish list!
    +1 for blog follow
    +1 for Twitter follow @aikchien
    +1 for Tweet
    http://twitter.com/#!/aikchien/status/112402791456194560

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  32. I would love to read this!

    +1 comment
    +1 GFC-Janhvi Jagtap
    +1 twitter follower-@justjanhvi
    +1 tweet-http://twitter.com/#!/justjanhvi/status/112482125911040000

    justjanhvi at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  33. Thank you so much for giving me a chance to win this! I want this!!

    +1 Comment
    +1 Twitter Follow @kimson_dino
    +1 Blog Follow: (kimson_dino)
    +1 Tweet/RT: http://twitter.com/#!/kimson_dino/status/112482705706467328

    kimson_dino@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  34. Sounds a bit like Across the Universe which I enjoyed so I really look forward to this.

    +1 comment
    +1 blog follow
    +1 Twitter follow (@Gabelle_M)
    +1 Retweet

    Gabbie-ethela AT hotmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  35. I love the cover. This sounds amazing! Thanks for the review.
    +1 comment
    +1 blog follower- Kulsuma
    k_anon[at]hotmail[dot]co[dot]uk

    ReplyDelete
  36. Sounds like a good one!!

    +1 for comment
    +1 for blog follow
    +1 for Twitter follow Alicia0605
    +1 for Tweet
    http://twitter.com/#!/alicia0605/status/112545164819574784

    aliciahall0605(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
  37. This would be a new author for me! tWarner419@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  38. Thanks for an awesome giveaway! I've been loving dystopian novels and Glow looks awesome!

    +1 Comment
    +1 GFC: cyc
    +1 Tweet: http://twitter.com/#!/nodizzies/status/112564890996195328

    jadedlittlegirlx [at] gmail [dot] com

    ReplyDelete
  39. I am so happy for this giveaway.

    +1 Comment
    +1 Blog Follower
    +1 Twitter Follower

    booksandsensibility@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete