ARC REVIEW&GUEST POST: The Outerlands by Jared Lopatin

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The Outerlands
Jared R. Lopatin
Published March 31st 2015 by Createspace
YA > Retelling | Fantasy
152pages
arc via tour host
 
 

3 ★★★

 
 
Purchase links:
Amazon
 
 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

 
Alex didn’t want to die, but he just couldn’t take it anymore. Dwight’s pills seemed to promise escape… and escape is exactly what he gets. He ends up in a world reminiscent of his childhood Wonderland, but nothing is as it was in Alice’s day. The Outerlands are a twisted version of his favorite story, with strange characters and unnatural dangers. Before he can get used to his new home, it’s threatened by an outside force.
Will Alex ever find a place where he feels safe?
 
 
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 Welcome to my stop on the THE OUTERLANDS tour! Alice in Wonderland retelling are all over the ya book-esphere but let me tell you something: this book will syrprise you. I really enjoyed this story and I just fell in love with out hero, Alex. Read my review and Jared’s exciting guest post about characters in THE OUTERLANDS. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom! 🙂


 

REVIEW:

 

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Since Jared has an exciting Guest Post for us, I will keep my review short. If there’s one word to describe The Outerlands, I would choose the word CREATIVE. I was lost inside of this book, and if I’d be the one to choose.. I will not go out.

I read Alice in Wonderland a long time ago. I even watched the Disney movie. But even with all of that, I admit that I forgot most of the things that happened. The Outerlands is an incredible take of Alice’s Wonderland. Like I said, it was creative. It was also magical, enthralling and written in the most impressive way. Its a bit hard to believe that this is a debut novel.

The characters are the gem of this book. They’re all well written. Insane. You can’t help but love them all. Alex is our hero, and my heart just totally feels for him. He’s a fifteen bookish boy that is being bullied by Jack and his minions. The first chapter was so hard to read since I’m not fond of bullying scenes. Though I do not agree with all of Alex’s decision, I understand the feeling of wanting to disappear. And with the help of Dwight and his pills, he got what he wanted.

The Outerlands is an interesting world to get lost into. While reading, I got the feeling of being transported to a whole new world. From every chapter, you will notice some things that will remind you of Alice’s adventures. But Jared put his own twist in every chapter and it came out impressively. I cannot wait for more from this author.

Read below to get to know the characters and the world of The Outerlands!!

 

 

 

GUEST POST:

 

Getting to know the characters and the setting of the book.

 

The charm of THE OUTERLANDS is that the world is recognizable, if only marginally so. If you know your Wonderland of Alice’s day, you know to expect the unexpected and nothing is ever what it seems to be. The main character, Alex, is a bookish young man and it is through Alex that you will get to meet all of the zany characters that make up the Outerlands. First and foremost, you should know that the Outerlands are divided into two lands – Carddesville and Chessterfield – by a long river called the Interglass. On the Carddesville side of the river, you will find Bill; Sidney March, Madeleine Hatter, and Domo; Reyna de Corazon, King, and Jack; and of course, Cat. Bill is one of the seedier Outerlanders, for he makes his living dealing suspicious substances under the nose of the reigning monarch of Carddesville, Reyna de Corazon. She, with her husband, King, commands her subjects with a firm hand and a fierce temper. She is jealously protective of her son, Jack, who simply wants to fall in love and get married. Among her subjects are the three who run the Out Inn: Sidney, Madeleine, and Domo. Sidney March is the founder of the Inn and Domo is a small boy who mans the door to help guests. Madeleine is the finest hat-maker in all of the Outerlands and a dear friend of Sidney’s. She can often be found at the Inn, relishing a cup of tea and enjoying funny stories and songs. Then, there’s Cat. Cat, who sometimes goes by the name of Pilar, is a transplant from the real world, just like Alex, though she has since become a true Outerlander. With a splotch across her face that earned her the ridicule of her peers, she escaped to the Outerlands and decided to stay. She has ever since been roaming the lands, popping up here and there to offer help, or sometimes, make mischief. On the Chessterfield side of the Outerlands, you may run into the OWL; Rose and Lily; Abe Arthur Cary; C.C., Blanche, Beau, and Dwight; or Gavin. Near the banks of the Integlass lives the Outerlander Welcoming Liaison, commonly known as the OWL.  It is he who makes sure that every Outerlander follows the right story thread. Nearby live the Flower Children, the head of which is Lily and her daughter, Rose. Beware the Flower Children, for they will entrap you with their indolent addiction. Abe is Bill’s boss, creating the substances that Bill will sell. Abe is also a favorite of the Red Queen, C.C. She is one of four monarchs on the Chessterfield side. Her brother, Beau, is married to the White Queen, Blanche. They live in an area called the Blush, where anyone and everyone can mix. Blanche’s brother, Dwight, is not easy to find, dwelling among the forests. At one time, the land was ravaged by civil war, Red against White, but with the marriage of Beau and Blanche, has settled into a comfortable peace. This leaves Gavin, the White Knight, with not much to do, unless a helpless traveler might come along. These are only a smattering of the characters to be met on your journey through either Carddesville or Chessterfield, and you should always keep your eye out for Tweeners, for they can appear anywhere!

 

 

 

AUTHOR:

 

jared-lopatin

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

 

Originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Jared fell in love with stories at a very young age. This love led him to major in English and Theatre, a decision that brought him many adventures, such as performing in Footloose, Cats, and West Side Story.

His first full novel, Rising Sign, was started backstage during a production of South Pacific in Indiana. Five years later, his debut novel was complete and he headed back to school for his Masters in Special Education. By the time he graduated, he had written the following two books in the trilogy, Ruling House and Returning Planet. He used his school experiences as a base for his standalone novel, Let’s Play It By Ear. His newest novels, The Outerlands and The Good Witch are slated for release in 2015.

Jared currently lives in New York City with his cats, Benedick and Beatrice. He works during the day as a high school English teacher and theatre director at a Deaf school.

 

 

 

GIVEAWAY:

 

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BLOG TOUR: Wild by Alex Mallory a.k.a move over peter pan, tarzan is here

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 WILD TOUR

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TITLE: Wild

AUTHOR: Alex Mallory

PUBLICATION: Expected Publication: July 8th 2014 by HarperTeen

GENRE: YA > Retelling | Contemporary | Romance

PAGES: 448pages (Paperback)

SOURCE: e-Arc provided by tour host

RATING: 4 ★★★★

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

Cade, a teen raised alone in the wilderness, is thrust into civilization in this modern retelling of Tarzan.

No one knows the forest better than Cade, who has spent his entire life there, foraging, hunting, and surviving. Raised to believe no one else is left in the world, he is shocked when he encounters Dara, a modern girl on a camping trip in his woods. And when an accident forces him back into society with her, he begins to question his entire life. Together, Cade and Dara attempt to handle their newfound celebrity as the media closes in. But the truth of Cade’s past might be too much for either of them.

Alex Mallory’s action-packed and romantic tale is told from both Cade’s and Dara’s point of view and is perfect for fans of contemporary and dystopian YA as well as classic survival stories such as HatchetLord of the Flies, and Tarzan.

THOUGHTS:

“Do you even know what a phone is?”

“Yes. It plays music in your bag, and you cuss until it stops. Then you hold it in front of your face and talk to yourself.” 

I don’t know if it’s just me, but I never really encountered any YA retelling of Tarzan before. You can see a lot of Peter Pan, Beauty and the Beast etc. But Tarzan? Unlikely. So imagine my squealing when I discovered this book. Especially when I got to be a part of the tour. I should probably point out that Alex Mallory is a foreign author to me. Never really read anything from her. And now I’m glad I did.

Cade is living in the forest since his parents died. He believes that he is alone and there’s only few survivors left. All his beliefs changed when he and Dara crossed paths. Cade was immediately fascinated by Dara. She followed her through out Dara’s camping with her boyfriend. He even got jealous, though of course, he didn’t know that jealousy is what he’s feeling at that moment. I usually hate Insta-love, but in this case, it’s totally different. Also, to be completely fair, I don’t really think it’s considered as Insta-love. They’re just… curious at each other. Well, if you see a guy like Cade, wouldn’t you be curious at all? And I understand that in Cade’s eyes, Dara looks strange also. 

But enough with that, the real fun here is seeing a caveman being tamed. Witnessing Cade, a guy who is so uncivilized, trying to fit in in our world. I found myself hanging in every chapter. I laughed at some moments, got touched by Dara’s determination and while reading Wild, I can’t really help but wonder how can a guy like Cade be turned into a civilized citizen. Is it really possible? Why yes, of course it is. If you have a girl like Dara instructing you, then it really is possible.

The pacing is a bit slow for me. And for a reader like me who is impatient and isn’t satisfied with dull chapters, finishing this book says a lot. I tend to DNF a book when there’s nothing happening and when I feel like there’s a lot of unnecessary chapters but Wild is really an exception. It’s because Alex Mallory writes a book that is so readable that you can’t help but be lost inside of it. 

The characters are very well developed, even the background characters who plays a big part in the story are brilliantly written. Dara and Cade are strong characters. They’re authentic. And though the romance is very tame and sweet..  it’s real.

Now that ending, Maaaaan! It’s not a cliffhanger, but it isn’t completely concrete either. Surprisingly, I honestly felt wonderful and satisfied with the ending. It was handled insanely well. Yes, insanely. The fact that I’m not angry right now because of that ending is insane you know. 

With an alluring backdrop, sweet romance and very much alive characters… Wild is a fresh read where you can’t help but get lost into.

 

THE AUTHOR:

Website | Twitter

Alex Mallory is a pen name for YA author Saundra Mitchell. She’s a big fan of reading, history, camping and competitive M&M sorting.

She once crossed a dilapidated train trestle in the middle of the night, 200 feet above the Wabash River, in a futile attempt to prove her love to someone who had no idea she existed.

1) She lived to tell about it. 2) It didn’t work. 3) She doesn’t recommend it.

THE GIVEAWAY:

A Wild Prize Pack Featuring: a signed, finished copy of WILD, a copy of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ TARZAN OF THE APES, a DVD (region 1) of Greystoke: Legend of Tarzan of the Apes, bookmarks, and a stuffed plush flu microbe. (US Only)

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