Release Date: November 2, 2013
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Length: 349 pages
Danger seldom leaves its victims unscathed in the ways of seduction, and this lesson is one that sixteen-year-old Cassie Foster now knows all too well.
Nine months following the traumatic accident that claimed the life of her mother and sister, this high school junior has at last found a fresh start in the quiet town of New Haven, Maine. In the company of her best friends, Ian and Gwen, she’s bracing the usual turmoil of adolescence and taking all in stride…until the new transfer student, Jackson Matthews, comes walking into her life. He’s arrogant, sarcastic, roguish, devastatingly sexy, and the very last thing Cassie wants to entertain. But when circumstances drive these two together, she finds herself a bit too close for comfort as their bond intensifies. Plagued by unexplainable events, a sudden string of disappearances, and even a cult-related murder, Cassie begins to fear for her life. Is it all just a coincidence that these happenings began when this Casanova strolled into town, or has she in fact fallen for a real lady-killer, or worse?
Interview with Melissa Parking
1. With this being your first book, what has been your favorite part of the whole process?
The entire writing process was a blast! Watching my characters come to life right before my eyes was quite the pleasure. When you wake up in the morning, only to find things like eating breakfast as obstacles hindering you from reaching the keyboard sooner, you know you’re having fun writing the story.
2. What has been your least favorite thing about the whole process?
One word: EDITING! Having to go through and repeatedly dissect my book, reading and rereading and rereading it to the point that I had practically memorized the entire manuscript, was tedious to say the least.
3. What have you learned about the process that you wished you would have known before starting?
Don’t be a perfectionist! This was a major hang-up I initially had going in to the writing process. There’s so many supposed rules floating around about the literary industry, telling you exactly how you’re supposed to write your book. I spent a while trying to work within those guidelines, but I eventually decided to toss those set rules aside. When I finally did that, the writing process became so much easier. There’s no ONE way to write a book.
4. Who has been your greatest influence personally?
My parents. They’re the strongest, wisest, and most down-to-earth people I’ve ever known. Their own life lessons really impacted the way I came to view the world, and I can only ever hope to gain half their insight.
5. Who are your favorite authors?
Chuck Palahniuk for sure. The first time I read “Fight Club”, I had my mind blown, my socks knocked off, and my world rocked! He set my bar of expectations as a reader pretty gosh darn high. I’d also have to mention Stephen King, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Cassandra Clare as other favorites.
6. What are a few of your favorite books?
“Fight Club” by Chuck Palahniuk and The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare are the books that I probably couldn’t live without.
My most recent reads that I’ve been gushing over are Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me series, “Rebel Belle” by Rachel Hawkins, and Jennifer L. Armentrout’s “White Hot Kiss”. They’re definitely worth checking out. I’ve seriously gone around fan-girling about these books to total strangers because I’m that crazy about them!
7. Do you have any peculiar writing habits?
Music is a big inspiration for me, in both the writing and brainstorming phases. In fact, all the chapters in “Divine Vices” are named after the songs that I played while writing each one. Anytime I find a song that captures the essence of a scene I’m working on, I play it on REPEAT until the scene is complete. So to everyone’s annoyance around me, a single track can be heard playing for up to a full day straight. Sorry, loved ones!
8. What hobbies do you enjoy when you’re not writing?
I admittedly have an addiction, and I can happily say that I’m NOT seeking help for it. I am…a bookaholic! I love reading, so when I don’t have a book in my hands, you’ll probably find me perusing the shelves at the local Barnes & Noble in my quest to find a new read.
I also love photography, discovering new music, watching movies, and searching for any sightings of the TARDIS.
9. Through which social media outlets would you like fans to connect with you?
It’s always fun to get a shoutout on Twitter, and I’m very active on Goodreads. So for anyone out there who wants to talk about books, whether it be my own or another’s, I’d love to hear from you! I’m a passionate reader, and I love connecting with kindred spirits.
10. What can we expect from you next?
Right now, I’m working on the sequel to “Divine Vices”, which will be released in the fall. I’m also in the midst of finalizing an outline for a fantasy/paranormal novel as well, but it’s still in its very early stages.
Thanks so much for the interview, Melissa!! You have me wanting to go read Fight Club. The Infernal Devices is definitely among my top 5 best trilogies out there, and like you, I’m an absolute bookaholic!!
My ***3.5 Star*** Review
I’m going to jump right on in and start with the characters. Cassie, the main character, had her positives and negatives for me. Overall, I liked her and could relate with her, but there were times that I didn’t understand the decisions she made and that bugged me. As a whole, I very much enjoyed her interactions with both Ian and Jackson. With an exception towards the end, Ian was an amazing best friend. As a matter of fact he was almost too perfect. Then there was Jackson. He definitely had the whole bad boy thing going, and he was highly appealing! Then there was Cassie’s other friend Gwen. Gwen’s not a part of the love triangle, but let me just say she was usually the entertaining one. If I was laughing, it was because of her.
As the plot goes, it had a nice fast pace throughout and never dragged. It was far from predicatable and at times down right creepy! The crazy thing for me was that I would really get into the book, but when I had to step away from it, I’d have a hard time remembering what was going on. I’m not sure if it was a lack in connection with the characters or something else that caused this.
I also need to point out that there were a few times that the characters actions just seemed a little far-fetched to me. For instance, Gwen seemed to find it exciting when she began to think that Cassie was the next target for whatever evil was lurking. I just think any real friend would have been highly concerned and wouldn’t have found it thrilling at all. For every negative I found, there was always a positive, though. There were a few quotes that I really enjoyed and found them worth my time to contemplate.
As for the ending, I’ll start with warning you that it’s a cliffhanger. I’ll also say that I’m not exactly happy about the ending, and I’m not referring to the cliffhanger here. But, I won’t comment on that because I don’t want to give it away. It’s not the end of the whole story, so I hope for better things to come. I’ll definitely look forward to picking up the next book. I also want to complement the author on a job well-done for her first novel!! I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us next!!!
Warnings: Contains strong language, making out & sexual banter (no sex scenes), and violence
*I received a copy via the author in exchange for an honest review.*
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About the Author ~ Melissa Parkin
True solace for this Chicagoland native is no further than a minute’s walk away from her, right to the keyboard. Having always been blessed/cursed with an overactive imagination, she’s constantly encouraging her predisposition with late night writing fits fueled by her mild Dr. Pepper addiction. A connoisseur of music, movies, and literature, Melissa is always finding inspiration in everything around her. When she’s not diving into the depths of her mind’s eye, you will undoubtedly find her with a book, a camera, her iPod, or a can of Dr. Pepper in hand.