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Monday, June 23, 2014

Rebel Nation Blog Tour {Review, Interview, Giveaway}

I'm so thrilled to have the Rebel Nation Blog Tour stopping by today! Check out my Review, Interview with Shaunta Grimes, and the Giveaway below...

Rebel Nation
(Viral Nation #2)
by Shaunta Grimes
July 1, 2014
Berkely Trade
320 pages

Sixteen years ago, a plague wiped out nearly all of humanity. The Company’s vaccine stopped the virus’s spread, but society was irrevocably changed. Those remaining live behind impenetrable city walls, taking daily doses of virus suppressant and relying on The Company for continued protection. They don’t realize that everything they’ve been told is a lie…

Clover Donovan didn’t set out to start a revolution—quiet, autistic, and brilliant, she’s always followed the rules. But that was before they forced her into service for the Time Mariners. Before they condemned her brother to death, compelling him to flee the city to survive. Before she discovered terrifying secrets about The Company.

Clover and the Freaks, her ragtag resistance group, are doing their best to spread the rebellion and stay under The Company’s radar. But when their hideout is discovered, they are forced, once again, to run. Only this time, The Company has special plans for Clover, plans that could risk her life and stop the uprising in its tracks…

Viral Nation
(Viral Nation #1)
by Shaunta Grimes
After a virus claimed nearly the entire global population, the world changed. The United States splintered into fifty walled cities where the surviving citizens clustered to start over. The Company, which ended the plague by bringing a life-saving vaccine back from the future, controls everything. They ration the scant food and supplies through a lottery system, mandate daily doses of virus suppressant, and even monitor future timelines to stop crimes before they can be committed.
Brilliant but autistic, sixteen-year-old Clover Donovan has always dreamed of studying at the Waverly-Stead Academy. Her brother and caretaker, West, has done everything in his power to make her dream a reality. But Clover’s refusal to part with her beloved service dog denies her entry into the school. Instead, she is drafted into the Time Mariners, a team of Company operatives who travel through time to gather news about the future.
When one of Clover’s missions reveals that West’s life is in danger, the Donovans are shattered. To change West’s fate, they’ll have to take on the mysterious Company. But as its secrets are revealed, they realize that the Company’s rule may not be as benevolent as it seems. In saving her brother, Clover will face a more powerful force than she ever imagined… and will team up with a band of fellow misfits and outsiders to incite a revolution that will change their destinies forever.

Last year, Shaunta Grimes captivated and greatly impressed me with Viral Nation and its unexpected, yet totally awesome heroine, Clover, and I’ve been eagerly awaiting its sequel, Rebel Nation, since then...and I’m so pleased to report that not only did this sequel meet my high expectations, it surpassed them!

Picking up several months after the events in Viral Nation, brilliant, autistic Clover, her brother West, and the Freaks, find themselves on the run and in the line of deadly fire. The nefarious Company has plans for Clover and, desperate to use her as a Time Mariner, they will stop at nothing to have her. Clover, West, and the rest of the Freaks must build up the Resistance and spread their rebellion,  and get help from several unexpected people along the way.

In Rebel Nation, Shaunta Grimes deftly continues the heart-stopping story she began in Viral Nation and further expands and explores this smartly crafted world and its excellent characters. With addicting prose and an electric premise, Rebel Nation is an impossible-to-put-down book. This post-apocalyptic/dystopian world continues to shock, fascinate, and thrill me with its complex structure and frightening possibilities. Every aspect of this world is so utterly thought-provoking. The Company, and its many facets; secrets; and plans, and the intricacies of the Time Mariners program, are further laid out in this sequel, creating such a multiplex and imposing antagonist.

As excellently crafted as this world and its many elements are, it is Grimes’ characters that truly shine in this series! In Viral Nation, I instantly connected with Clover and have enjoyed every moment with this intelligent, brave, autistic heroine. She is one of the most authentic, real characters I’ve ever come across. And while Clover’s autism does not define her, through her, Grimes has given readers like her such a beautiful voice and wonderful representation. Clover’s relationships with her brother West and beloved service dog Mango continue to move and inspire me. I found myself so proud of this girl as she overcomes so much and especially as she develops relationships outside of West and Mango (hello, Jude!!).

Plenty of twists and turns, explosive revelations, and heart-stopping choices abound in Rebel Nation! This sequel had me hanging on its every word until the shocking end, and I’m excited (and mildly terrified) to see what happens next!

My Final Thoughts: Full of exceptional, exciting storytelling, wonderful characters, and a lot of heart, Rebel Nation is an awesome sequel in a smart, innovative series with an enthralling, thought-provoking premise and a unique, unforgettable heroine!


What three words best describe Rebel Nation?
Mango. For. President.
Seriously, this book starts to show just how broken the utopian world that is the US after the Virus really is. Mango would do a better job of running things than the Company or the US government have.
Grab a copy of Rebel Nation and answer the following:
favorite chapter?
There's a chapter where West really emerges as a leader for this rebellion that I really love.
favorite page?
It's a kiss. That's all I'm going to say.
favorite setting/place?
I loved writing about Virginia City, which is one of my favorite real-life places.
hardest chapter or page to write?
The last one. Always.
flip to a random page and give us a 1-2 sentence teaser:
They’d think he’d been caught. Or maybe that he went with Clover and Jude. Either way, they must believe that he’d abandoned them. Christopher would stay cool, but Phire had to be spitting mad right about now.

How did your experience writing this sequel, Rebel Nation, compare or contrast with writing the first book, Viral Nation? Did you find writing a sequel to be harder or easier?
I wrote Rebel Nation much more quickly than I wrote Viral Nation. I was able to set the first book aside for six months and go at edits with a fresh eye, and I didn't have the time to do that with the second one. Also, the act of writing Viral Nation and working with an editor on it just made me a better writer. I'd never written anything under contract before, and I'd never written a sequel, so it was definitely more stressful!
Your character Clover, who is autistic and such a wonderfully complex YA heroine, has gone through and seen a lot since the beginning of Viral do you think she’s changed or grown the most since book one? What’s the best or most surprising thing readers say about Clover?
Clover's a pretty insular person. She lives a lot inside her own head. I think one of the biggest changes she's gone through, over the course of both books, is opening up a little and seeing herself as part of this world that's larger than herself and her brother.
It doesn't surprise me at all that readers love Clover. I love her, too. My favorite emails are from people who really identify with her.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of being a published author? The hardest or most surprising aspect?
I thought that the public stuff, liking readings and signings, was going to be really hard for me. Turns out, though, that I love it. I really love meeting people who love to read. I love introducing them to my books, or talking to them about books that we both love. The most rewarding part of being a published author has been feeling part of that world.
The sheer amount of waiting that's involved in publishing has been surprising to me. Publishing is a very slow moving business! Anyone who wants to be a writer should start to learn patience now.
Channeling your heroine, Clover, fill in the blanks (answer them about her):
I’m really awesome at remembering what I read. Sometimes, lately, I wish I wasn't.
I’m really embarrassed to admit that this whole rebellion thing scares me.
The last great book I read was The Complete Backyard Barnyard.

If you were to create and bake a cupcake inspired by one of your characters in Rebel Nation, who would it be, what would it look and taste like, and what would you call it?
I'd make a cupcake for Jude. It would dark chocolate with chili, something a little bitter and spicy, with a sweet orange marmalade filling. I have no idea what I would call it! Bittersweet?

Thank you so much for stopping by, Shaunta! I'd totally vote Mango for President and Jude totally deserves a cupcake inspired by him ;)

Shaunta Grimes has worked as a substitute teacher, a newspaper reporter, a drug court counselor, and a vintage clothing seller. No matter which direction she strays, however, she always comes back to storytelling. She lives in Reno with her family, where she writes, teaches, and perpetually studies at the University of Nevada. Viral Nation is her debut traditionally-published novel.

Win a finished copy of Rebel Nation!
5 winners will each win a finished copy.
(blog wide giveaway, open internationally)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Week One:
6/23/2014- A Book Obsession- Review
6/23/2014- Word SpelunkingInterview
6/24/2014- Reading with ABCReview
6/24/2014- Pieces of WhimsyGuest Post
6/25/2014- bookaholics anonymous onlineReview
6/25/2014- Fire and IceInterview
6/26/2014- Cold Tea and CrumbsReview
6/26/2014- Such a Novel IdeaGuest Post
6/27/2014- modern-assassinReview
6/27/2014- Page Turner BlogInterview

Week Two:
6/30/2014- Buried Under BooksReview
6/30/2014- Bookhounds YAGuest Post
7/1/2014- The Demon LibrarianReview
7/1/2014- Library of the SeenInterview
7/2/2014- Crystal in BooklandReview
7/2/2014- the Windy PagesGuest Post
7/3/2014- My Dear BibliophageReview
7/3/2014- The Book MonstersInterview
7/4/2014- Books, Bones & Buffy                - Review


Robert D. said...

This sounds great!

Natalie @ Book Lovers Life said...

Cant wait for this. I loved book 1.

Unknown said...

Unfortunately, I haven't read Viral Nation yet, but it's on my TBR list and I have a kindle copy of it. I've heard great things about the series and it would be awesome to be able to read straight through the first 2 books. I'm excited to follow the tour along to get more insight into this series, and thanks for a great giveaway :)

Unknown said...

I've not yet read the first book, either, but certainly would like to based on this post/interview. The covers complement each other nicely and convey the desolation of the environment, though the second gives me a vibe of hopefulness. I like that Clover's service dog, Mango, is featured on both!

anne s. said...

I MUST read viral nation and rebel nation!

karin said...

the cover looks mysterious yet interesting at the same time!I definitely want to read this book

TammyAnn said...

I have not had a chance to read either book yet. The covers look very mysterious. I love the dog! Thank you so much for the giveaway!

Kristen said...

I'm on the blog tour but didn't get to read a copy, I'm going to see if the library has it in. Great review and interview!

Unknown said...

(This is Darith L.)

I own the first book! Would love to marathon both books! :D

Steph said...

This looks like it's a good series, I'm adding this to my list of books to read.