‘Torment’ by Lauren Kate – Giveway!

How many lives do you need to live, before you find someone worth dying for?

Wow guys, we treat you way too well…it’s time for another giveaway already!

The incredibly generous publisher Random House Australia is offering 3 copies of Lauren Kate’s Torment, the followup to New York Times bestseller Fallen.

In the aftermath of what happened at Sword & Cross, Luce has been hidden away by her cursed angelic boyfriend, Daniel, in a new school filled with Nephilim, the offspring of fallen angels and humans. Daniel promises she will be safe here, protected from those who would kill her. At the school Luce discovers what the Shadows that have followed her all her life mean – and how to manipulate them to see into her other lives. Yet the more Luce learns about herself, the more she realizes that the past is her only key to unlocking her future … and that Daniel hasn’t told her everything. What if his version of the past isn’t actually the way things happened … what if Luce was really meant to be with someone else?

Everyone needs a little break from the current vampire obsession (even me). What better way to combat the pull of sparkly-skinned bloodsuckers than with a hot fallen angel romance? You may remember me reviewing Torment not too long ago – it’s seriously shaping up to be a HELLISH battle for good versus evil!

To further whet your appetite, check out the book trailer below:

The Details

To swoop in and win one of 3 copies of Torment, we want you to take your creative mind to new heights. Submit your details via the form on the Boomerang Books website, which can be accessed by clicking here. Do not submit your entry via the comments section of this post because they unfortunately won’t be counted for the judging – you must submit via the form provided.

And please make sure that along with your details you include in the form, in 25 words or less, FOR THE WIN, an answer to:

What torments YOU about teenagers/ being a teen?

This competition is open to Australian residents only (ie. those who have a valid Australian postal mailing address).

Competition closes 5 pm, Friday 15th October 2010.

Now go polish those tarnished halos and get to thinking!

Book Review: Torment, by Lauren Kate

Ah, Lauren Kate. You do torture me so.

When I read Fallen, I must admit, it didn’t particularly exceed my expectations. I expected a nice ‘fallen angel’ YA romance and that’s pretty much what I got.

Lucky for me, the followup, Torment offers much, much more.

Spoilers for Fallen will have to follow – you have been warned!

By the end of Fallen we left teen Luce at the oppressive Swords and Cross school having to deal with the news that her one true love (Daniel) is an angel. In Torment, the warring angels have called a truce between themselves for a short while, and so Daniel insists on protecting Luce by keeping her at a literal distance, enrolling her in a luxurious private school reserved for students of the nephilim class. Luce is an instant celebrity around the nephilim who have grown up hearing the romantic reincarnation legend of Luce and Daniel, but Luce can’t help but feel frustrated. While Daniel goes about doing his mysterious angel business, Luce is kept in the dark and begins questioning her feelings for Daniel.

I felt like there was so much more action going on with this book than its predecessor, Fallen, and it pays off for the reader. And I was engrossed with the new additions to the storyline, particularly the addition of several interesting secondary characters (including an angel/demon couple)!

But what really puts this book a step above the mainstream YA paranormal romance is the heroine herself. Luce is sensible and headstrong, and it seems that Lauren Kate has been listening to bloggers’ cries for sassifying female protagonists. In fact, Luce as a character might even seem a little impatient and bossy for some – to me, she was more than a little frustrating, but all in all I much prefer her strong outlook to the usual damsel-in-distress suspects.

Yep, I’m back on the wagon to see how this whole love triangle turns out in Book 3, and whether there’ll be this massive angel showdown of good versus evil (I’d say there will be…I’m HOPING there will be)…

It so often happens that the second book in the trilogy falls by the wayside- it feels like a filler. I can happily report that this isn’t the case with Torment. And if you want my personal feelings on it – Torment as the second instalment of the series, is better than the first.

Torment is released in Australia at the end of September, 2010.

Angels in YA Literature (Part 1)

In continuing with my angel and devil-themed posts, I wanted to take a closer look at Young Adult literature, which has recently heralded a host of books on dark or “fallen” angels, in particular.

These are no mere cherubs – they’re winged beings with a dangerous edge. The male lead in current YA angel novels still tend to be Edward Cullen-esque, with their possessiveness and their secretive nature, but lately, things have been getting a wee bit darker.

Hush Hush, by Becca Fitzpatrick (released 2009) has Patch, a fallen angel who is Bad News. Yet Nora Grey, our requisite damsel-in-distress protagonist, can’t stay away from him. When this book was first released, bloggers were split clean down the middle. On one side, YA romantics loved the forbidden love and compared the book favourably to Twilight, calling it “thrilling” and “seductive”. On the other side were YA bloggers who were disturbed by the physical interaction between Patch and Nora, considering Patch’s actions to be less seductive and more ‘abusive’. What example is it setting for young adults, to have a protagonist drawn to a bad boy who slams her against a bench, when she has a sinking feeling that he wants to kill her and yet still yearns to trust him?
I’ve read the book, and find myself somewhere in the middle: yes, there are a couple of questionable scenes in the novel, but I figure most girls are smart enough to draw a crooked (okay, sometimes very crooked) line between fantasy and reality, and can enjoy Hush, Hush for what it is: a forbidden romance between a paranormal guy and a human girl, testing the boundaries of hormonal attraction.

I must say, though, I prefer the idea behind Lauren Kate’s Fallen, released just after Hush, Hush. In Fallen, Lucinda falls in love with Daniel, a guy at her new school. Life gets a little more difficult for Lucinda after she finds out Daniel is actually a fallen angel, and that they’ve had a history (ie. many previous lives) where they’ve fallen in love and lost each other each time, thanks to good and evil forces trying to keep them apart. What I like about this scenario is that Lucinda isn’t a passive character – she has responsibility from the experience of her previous lives, and she plays a more active role in attempting to combat fate and the forces, rather than be prone to them. There’re some nice mythology references as well.

Having a dark and tortured celestial being for a boyfriend is a pretty seductive scenario to me – no wonder these kinds of books are so popular. But what I’m really looking forward to is the YA novel where the FEMALE is the fallen angel and the male is the human – would put quite a spin on things, no?

Stay tuned for Part 2 of Angels in YA Literature, which focuses on angels existing in a world populated with other sorts of paranormal beings.