Day #13: #FireflyBookBlogTour! YeeHaw! Here are today’s TWO stops:
Cicada by Belle Whittington is a book I’ve really been looking forward to reading. The cover is gorgeous, the summary begs you to read it, and the title makes you wonder. I actually think the title is the best thing about this book after reading it. It pulls the book together in a beautiful way. The rich southern atmosphere seeped from the pages like heat. One great thing about Cicada is the visual picture you form in your head while reading. I found myself intensely focusing on certain scenes, and I think that’s always great when you read a book. But despite my initial excitement I ended up having issues with Cicada that were difficult to ignore. In the end I can safely say Cicada was great, but the beginning wasn’t.Aliens aren’t something you see a lot of in the young-adult genre, so right from the start Cicada had a uniqueness going for it. Aliens in the south I’d suspect you’d see even less of. I will admit it took me a long time to warm up to Cicada. There was something loose and unfocused about the writing and the story layout that prevented me from immediately forming a connection. It needed a lot more editing I think. That was my biggest problem with Cicada. A little more attention to the details would have a profound effect. I found myself dreading the dialogue and looking forward to Blair’s perspective, because the way she saw things, as opposed to how she said them, was night and day.The second half of this book became something better, in my opinion, that the first half. It was non-stop, I mean secrets and puzzle pieces and questions were piling up so fast I couldn’t keep up. I was desperate to find out what would happen and to know all the answers. I kept trying to solve it my head but I don’t think we were given all the pieces for a reason. Book two can’t come fast enough. It picked up so much steam and body in the second half and I was pretty sad to see it end.The plot was also really good. It kept me going, especially in the beginning as I struggled to find my place in this novel. That scene where they’re all hanging out near the crop circle and that UFO appears, it was amazing! Plenty times Cicada had me freaked out in a very good way. I do wish the characters had more presence, personality, and authenticity though. The way they spoke to each other, the way Blair saw everything, just the overall focus of this novel would feel ordinary if you took away the aliens. With a plot this good I wanted everyone to keep up but they didn’t.One person I loved? Everett! Immediately I loved how intelligent, trust-worthy, and mature he was. Some characters, like David and Natalie, felt mildly unimportant. All David said was “I think we should kill it,” and Natalie cried and disappeared. But Everett was my favorite! When he explained about the cicada’s you get to see his personality up front and personal. And the fact that Blair loved the same thing about him made me really like her. I missed the old Everett as much as she did, and the ending left me biting my tongue to keep from crying. Blair’s grief was one thing that was exceptionally portrayed. I felt so bad for her at night, because I knew what she would go through. Her pain and sadness were like another character, and I love Belle Whittington for showing us that side of her. I know who Blair is as a character, and I loved what I saw. I feel bad that she’s stuck with all those secrets and I know there’s still more secrets to come.I can’t wait for those secrets!Overall I really liked Cicada. It was action-packed and fast-paced, weaving together aliens, mystery, and romance in a highly unique and exciting way. I would definitely recommend Cicada to alien lovers and those looking for something different.
5 Star Review: Books Complete Me Book Blog:~ Pop over to her lovely blog, read the review, and show her blog some looovvvveee!
Title: CicadaAuthor: Belle WhittingtonSource: ebook from author for reviewgoodreads:Summertime had always been carefree and fun for Blair Reynolds and her friends—until they came upon something that was not human. As the group of friends band together in a fight for their lives, Blair’s true love becomes something more than human…something unnatural. And their existence relies on their ability to keep a secret.My Take:Blair is spending one last summer with her older brother and his friends before they all run off to college and their future, leaving her behind to finish senior year all by herself. But the day after graduation changes everything. After inspecting a crop circle on her grandfather’s land, a mysterious flying object comes up and injects a creature from it. The series of events that happen next will forever change the lives of this one group of friends. No longer a carefree summer, but a summer spent figuring out who they are and how to keep each other alive.Loved this book!! It was so suspenseful that I had gripped my nook so hard I thought I would break it. I always enjoy a good romance and this one really delivered at the end. I liked how the relationship grew from a strong friendship into something real. I saw it coming, but was pleasantly surprised with how it all went down. With too many books now days the romance is 'BAM! You’re in love' without laying eyes on someone.
Today I’m welcoming Belle Whittington, author of the YA novel Cicada, to join my blog with a guest post. You can read my review for her novel HERE. Thank you so much, Belle, for taking your time to write this.Goodreads Summary of Cicada:
Summertime had always been carefree and fun for Blair Reynolds and her friends—until they came upon something that was not human. As the group of friends band together in a fight for their lives, Blair’s true love becomes something more than human…something unnatural. And their existence relies on their ability to keep a secret.I have been daydreaming stories for as long as I can remember. My first recollection of wanting to be a writer was when I was in the second grade, and my teacher, Mrs. Rambin, would have us lay our heads on our desks after lunch while she read us stories full of magic and imagination.
By: Belle Whittington
Released: July 14, 2011
Purchase the Book: Amazon
”Summertime had always been carefree and fun for Blair Reynolds and her friends—until they came upon something that was not human. As the group of friends band together in a fight for their lives, Blair’s true love becomes something more than human…something unnatural. And their existence relies on their ability to keep a secret.” (Summary from goodreads.com)
Belle Whittington’s Cicada is the story of Blair and her group of best friends who discover something one summer night that isn’t human. Blair and her friends become involved in a dangerous mystery that they must keep a secret in order to survive.
Cicada is a mysterious and captivating story that I read in just a couple of hours. Blair is an interesting protagonist who hangs out with her older brother and friends. She is tough and will do anything for the people that she loves. I enjoyed the friendship that Blair shared with her brother, Andrew, and her friends. I especially loved the relationship that Blair shared with Everett, the sweet yet geeky guy who is fascinated by bugs.
Cicada instantly captured my attention and this book was not what I was expecting but in a good way…
Post by Traci
When I started Cicada I knew only 2 things: it was a sci-fi book, and a cicada is an insect. As I tore through the pages of this fluid and easy to digest novel, I fell in love with the simple Texas story of love and more. Yes it has science fiction elements, but it’s not only a book about impossibilities it is also a book about everything that is possible in life, even those things we never expect.
Cicada is a summer story, which made me yearn for long and lazy warm days. I found Belle Whittington to be an author who doesn’t just spell things out for the reader but makes you search for information in her writing, and I loved that. While a fun and easy read in the beginning Belle beefs up the story quite a bit by the end with twists in the story and just enough suspense to keep any reader on their toes. She also creates beautiful scenes in the readers mind of what is happening in the story. I could easily picture everything from the old ranch to the bakery that Blair’s mother owns.
It’s a book about so many things but when I think of Cicada the word that pops into my mind is change. Everything changes for this young group of characters in the short months leading up to college and for Blair, leading up to senior year. Some of these changes have been good and some not.
Summertime had always been carefree and fun for Blair Reynolds and her friends—until they came upon something that was not human. As the group of friends band together in a fight for their lives, Blair’s true love becomes something more than human…something unnatural. And their existence relies on their ability to keep a secret.
Cicada is a really fun and fast read that is making me miss summertime… a lot. It follows a group of friends for the summer, with the focus on the main protagonist Blair, in a small town in Texas. I loved the closeness of this group of friends, how when faced with the scary reality of a certain situation (don’t want to give too much away) they stick together and look out for one another at all costs. That was probably my favorite part of the book. Blair’s older brother, Andrew, was especially protective of his sister and showcases such an intense bond with his younger sister that makes me wish I had an older brother to tag along with! Then there was also Everett, bug boy, who captured a soft spot in my heart being the science nerd that I am!
Post by Kristan
Happy Tuesday to you all! Today’s blog is a book review on an awesome read that I finished in one day! The book is “Cicada” by Belle Whittington and I thoroughly enjoyed it for many reasons. It’s one of those books that you think you have figured out, only to to realize that there is much left to discover.
In this book, the characters come to life. The teens in this story are not glamorous or rich, but everyday kids that are believable and easy to relate to. They are written with emotion and smoothed and polished by time. I can tell that the author didn’t rush when developing them. I also liked the fact that all of the characters were likable (no snotty brats or hidden agendas) and each had their own strengths (even if they couldn’t see them) and weaknesses. Her descriptions were rich in detail and I tell ya, I want to go live on “Grandpa’s” ranch! LOL! Whittington has a simplistic and Southern flair in this particular book that I loved. The descriptions were not over-done; they felt real. Being a Georgia girl, there were many aspects of the settings that I could relate to and the whole flavor of this book reminded me of home.
You guys know that I try not to leak too many details in my reviews. I will say that this book is about a teenage girl named Blair, her older brother, Andrew, and their friends who discover and save an alien on her grandpa’s ranch. This part of the story is revealed almost upfront and I was wondering as I read why the author would play her ace so soon. However, I soon realized that this little nibblet of information was nothing compared to what she hadn’t revealed yet! Yep, Ms. Whittington knows how to play poker and she deals her cards out in a way that makes you hold your breath and wonder just how many aces can one deck have?!
As I stated above, there are other factors in this book that help make it whole and the “alien” is just a small part of that. There are secret powers, foretelling dreams, the power of twins, grief, coming of age issues, secret government agencies, and one of my favorites-the fact that a “nerdy-type” guy is defined with such grace and realism, and he is embraced by the group of friends and not ridiculed for being intelligent.
This book is the first in a trilogy and I cannot wait to read her next one titled “Firefly”. The author leaves you with questions (of course) but it doesn’t have one of those cliff-hanger endings that leaves you confused or empty. This is an excellent read for young adults (I hate it when a book is labeled YA and it is really more suited for an adult) and a strong point is that it shows what the power of friendship can accomplish-a message that all kids can learn from. I give this book 5 stars and I hope that Ms. Whittington will not make me wait too long for the next book in this series!
Post by Nicole Storey