March Madness and a book you should buy

A short post tonight (or shorter than usual, anyway), as I’ve created my own version of March madness, by committing to my new editor at Covenant that I will send my next manuscript to him no later than March 28th. It’s going to be both a long and short month. Long nights because I’ll be up writing instead of getting sleep. Short days because I’ve got a lot to do before the 28th.

Deadlines are generally a good thing for me. I especially love them when they’re past, and I made it! Oh, the joy I felt after finishing the 20th Whitney romance nominee and casting my vote in January. April promises similar bliss.

But last week I took a brief respite from writing to read Rob Wells’ young adult dystopian novel, Variant. It’s not scheduled to be released until this October, and I’m truly sorry for all of you out there that will have to wait that long to read it. It’s a GREAT book—totally worth getting behind on the laundry, feeding my family mac-n-cheese, and forgetting a couple of appointments and things my kids had. Thanks, Rob, for so thoroughly messing with my mind and life for a couple of days.

Like other dystopian’s I’ve read in the recent past—the Hunger Games trilogy, and Ally Condie’s MatchedVariant puts teenagers in a situation where all is not right in the world, and they’ve got to rise above it/figure it out/buck the system to first, survive, and second, get what they really want (usually a love interest). While I really enjoy dystopian novels, one thing that seemed to set Rob’s apart and make it even more enjoyable is that it begins in the present day. The main character, Benson, is a typical teenager (one who’s been raised in the foster care system) from a typical place (Pittsburg) who ends up in a boarding school that is anything but typical. Because the story is set in our day, Rob didn’t have to spend a lot of time explaining how the “society” functioned. Instead, we learn how the school functions—or doesn’t—along with Benson when he’s the new student. The story held me captive (hint!) from the very first page, and the cliff hanger ending made me want to drive up to Rob’s house and shake what happens next out of him.

What’s not to love about a book like that?

So along with fun-sized chocolate this Halloween, treat yourself to some genuinely tense moments by reading Variant. It’s available for preorder on Amazon now, and if you are on my Christmas list, there is a good chance you’re getting one.

Happy reading!