Welcome to my stop on the SPARK blog tour hosted by Walker Books Australia.
I am extremely excited to be sharing a guest post with you today by Rachael Craw, author of the YA sci-fi, Spark. I love finding out what songs authors listened to when they were writing their book, so I asked Rachael if she had a playlist she could share, and she did!
Take it away, Rachael…
Music is a massive part of my creative process. Initially it was purely practical. I didn’t have an office. The computer was in the lounge. I used to put my earphones in and turn the music up loud so I wouldn’t hear the TV if my husband was watching it and I could get caught up in my own world.
I tend to binge listen going through phases of band specific obsession and if I love a band I buy ALL of their music. Over the last five years the most frequent fliers on my playlist would be Muse, The Killers, Coldplay (for when I wanted mellow and melancholy) Foo Fighters, The White Stripes, Jack White (solo), Mumford and Sons, Green Day, The Black Keys and then a random selection of sundry others (including old school Violent Femmes, the Cure).
Occasionally I would do a playlist which was a selection of albums from different bands on shuffle but for the most part I would play an entire album over and over and over and over … you get my drift.
If I had to commit and pick my most played it would be Jack White (including The White Stripes). White’s sound is like the perfect DNA match for my earholes, I have that instant physical hit of resonating-happy, at one with the universe reaction to his music. If we’d had this conversation 2 or 3 years ago I would have sworn hands down it would be Muse who I love with the love of a thousand loves. Over time Jack White has snuck ahead and Muse are an extremely close second.
My favourite Evie and Jamie love song is: ‘Love Interruption’ from Jack White’s solo album Blunderbuss.
My favourite Evie angst song is: ‘Micro Cuts’ from Muse’s, Origin of Symmetry album.
My favourite SPARK fight scene, ass kicking song is: ‘Wind Up’ from Foo Fighters Colour and the Shape album
You can check-out my SPARK specific playlists on Spotify:
RACHAEL CRAW studied Classical Studies and Drama at the University of Canterbury but became an English teacher after graduation. Working with teenagers has given her a natural bent towards Young Adult fiction and a desire to present a feisty female protagonist in her writing. Rachael was born and raised in Christchurch, New Zealand, and currently lives in Nelson with her family. Spark is her debut novel.
And Now For My Review
Release Date: July 1st 2014.
Publisher: Walker Books Australia.
Source: From publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis From Goodreads:
Evie doesn’t have a choice.
One day she’s an ordinary seventeen year old, grieving for her mother. The next, she’s a Shield, the result of a decades-old experiment gone wrong, bound by DNA to defend her best friend from an unknown killer.
The threat could come at home, at school, anywhere. All Evie knows is that it will be a fight to the death.
And then there’s Jamie. irresistible. off-limits.
4.5 out of 5 stars.
I have so much love for this book. First up, how beautiful is the cover? Stunning, right? I love that the dress is made of DNA strands.
Shortly after Evie goes to live with her aunt, strange things start to happen to her. She feels a zip-zapping up and down her spine, she is filling out, getting stronger and faster. Turns out she has a synthetic gene in her DNA that gives her abilities and determines her path.
Evie is a Shield, a protector, and Kitty, her best friend, is the ‘Spark’ that caused her to change. The problem is that a Stray was set off at the same time, a killer programmed to kill the Spark that caused them to change. Now Evie is bound to protect Kitty from the Stray who will stop at nothing to kill her. But if Evie has any chance of saving her best friend, she must hide from the project that conducted the experiment that made her that way.
I love stories about people that have abilities, and Spark was no exception. It was very well written and I thought it had believable world building. At the beginning of the book there is a lot of information to take in, in a short amount of time. Although it was interesting, it took a bit to wrap my head around it. After all the info is given though, and Evie gets into the job of protecting Kitty, Spark really takes off.
I really enjoyed the dynamic between Evie and Kitty. They were both well rounded characters, and I think both their reactions to the situation they have been put in was realistic.
There were many comical moments scattered throughout that had me laughing out loud, especially when Evie’s need to protect Kitty kicked in.
I loved the romance in Spark. A relationship with Jamie, Kitty’s brother, is forbidden. Evie needs to worry about keeping Kitty safe, not getting distracted. But there is an attraction between him and Evie that is undeniable. Jamie was totally swoon worthy and quickly had me smitten. I loved that the romance was a big part of the book but that Evie and Jamie could still keep their priorities straight.
Overall this was a fantastic, thrilling and action packed YA sci-fi that I could hardly put down. I highly recommend it to those who like Richelle Mead, Veronica Roth and Jessica Shirvington. I can’t wait to get my hands on book 2, Stray, especially after that brilliant twist at the end that I wasn’t expecting at all.
You can add it to your Goodreads here.
Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the tour.
Tuesday, June 24 Diva Booknerd
Wednesday, June 25 The Tales Compendium
Thursday, June 26 Kids’ Book Review & Happy Indulgence
Friday, June 27 Fictional Thoughts
Saturday, June 28 Inside My Worlds: R.L.Sharpe & Aussie Reviews
Sunday, June 29 Striking Keys & Thoughts by J
Monday, June 30 Books for a Delicate Eternity & Fiction in Fiction in Fiction
Tuesday, July 1 The Loony Teen Writer & Kkatie Reads