And what's more, I have one brand-spanking-new, signed copy of DUST CITY to give away!
I am very excited to be able to spotlight this book today. Not only is it a thought-provoking read, but it does something I love, which is take a very modern story and put it in an extremely dark fairy tale setting. It pays homage to the original tone of the stories of the Brothers Grimm, to great effect. Here's the publisher blurb:
"Who's afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?
His son, that's who.
Ever since his father's arrest for the murder of Little Red Riding Hood, young Henry Whelp has kept a low profile in a Home for Wayward Wolves, until a murder at the Home leads Henry to believe his father may have been framed.
Now, with the help of his kleptomaniac roommate, Jack, and a daring she-wolf named Fiona, Henry will have to venture deep into the heart of Dust City: a rundown, gritty metropolis where fairydust is craved by everyone - and controlled by a dangerous mob of Water Nixies and their crime boss leader, Skinner.
Can Henry solve the mystery of his family's sinister past? Or, like his father before him, is he destined for life as a big bad wolf?"
How awesome is that?
There are a lot of things I like about this book. It deals with a number of issues that are very relevant to teens today: drug abuse, gang violence, identity crises, and more. These ain't your momma's fairytales, folks. And while Henry grapples with these issues, he does so in a world in which nothing is black-and-white. In Dust City, there is a whooole lot of grey, right up to the end. Just like in life.
Additionally, the characters in Dust City are very well-drawn. Henry does good things, and bad things; smart things, and really, really dumb things. He makes mistakes, just like every other teenaged boy out there, and every other character in this book is like that. And I loved them for it. When I found myself thinking, No, Henry, don't do it! It's a set-up! I knew I was onto a winner. Not many authors can make me care about their characters enough to think at them. And meeting each new character and figuring out which traditional fairytale they were from, and then finding out that I was right as I got to know the character more, was like getting little presents throughout the narrative. Awesome.
And also - and this is kind of shallow, but... You have to feel the cover of this book. It's textured. It feels... I`m not going to tell you how it feels, but I`ll tell you that I love it; it is so, so appropriate for this book. You have to go to your nearest bookstore and stroke it.* (The bookstore people will understand; they've probably beat you to it, actually. You know you want to.)
Don't you want to read this book right now? Well. You could go out immediately and buy it. You could immediately order it for your Kindle. Or you could win a signed copy right here, right now. In fact, I think you should go ahead and buy a copy anyway, because you're going to want to have a copy to read and re-read while your nice autographed copy rests pristinely on the shelf.** It's that good.
How can you win a signed copy of this book, you ask?
It's easy. Just:
1) Be a follower of this blog.
2) Leave a comment on this post, telling me the name of your favorite fairytale.
The contest will run until MIDNIGHT on the night of MONDAY, NOVEMBER 1ST. I will put the names of every person who enters into a hat, and randomly draw the winner. The winner will be announced on my Wednesday Wisdom post on November 3rd. (In case you're wondering, my favorite fairytale is Hansel and Gretel.)
Good luck! And... GO!
*Yes, I do that. Bookstore people love me.
**Yes, I do that, too.