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Musical Moments: Song of the Month: May 2015: Chosen by Bryony Pearce

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Huge thanks to Bryony Pearce for coming to my rescue and picking this month’s song of the month. I always tell my students that dystopia is one of the biggest ongoing trends in young adult fiction, thought provoking and realistic dystopian takes a look at the problematic elements in today’s society – such as the depletion of natural resources. Dystopia stands out to teens because it is easy to picture the events that COULD happen while also providing possible solutions they may not have considered.

From the feedback I have received from my students there really is no stopping dystopia, even with those reluctant to read for pleasure can be enticed by something they can relate to ♥

Image from Author Website

Image from Author Website

One of the key messages of Phoenix Rising is environmental: mankind has used up the resources of our planet. When the fuel crisis occurs, bringing with it perhaps inevitable wars and recession, man, finding himself laden with unusable technology, simply tosses all of his rubbish into enormous islands of junk floating in the seas and oceans.

The eruption of Yellowstone brings tsunamis that break up the islands and the sea is polluted beyond redemption. Now it is simply ‘the salt’, poisoned with acidic currents, filled with floating junk and the promise of death to any who spend any time in the water.

This is the world into which Toby is born, a world that has been polluted and used up and which has only scraps left to offer the nations whose survivors can only fight for every advantage.
It seems as if every time I leave the house, I am picking my way over the rubbish that people think it is acceptable to toss over their shoulders. Our society is consumer driven and disposable. From unnecessary technology upgrades (our phones, our cars, our televisions, our computers) to wardrobes full of clothes we barely wear, to food we buy and never eat, it seemed a logical progression to have a world where man has used up almost everything and thrown the rest away.

Already we have seabirds drowning in oil, ocean-going mammals snared in plastic, distant colonies of birds that have never seen a human being covered in so much rubbish that they can barely nest in safety.

Phoneix Rising is a rollicking adventure. It has pirates, sea battles, explosions, It is Junk-Punk. But it also contains a serious environmental message that I would love readers to ponder next time they consider throwing something away.

And so the song that I have chosen is my favourite song about the environment, a comment on man’s consumerism, his drive to destroy nature and build on the green spaces.

It is Where Do the Children Play? By Cat Stevens.

ABOUT PHEONIX RISING

In a future world where fossil fuels have run out and democracy has collapsed, an outlawed pirate crew fight for survival on their ship, the Phoenix, kept afloat by whatever they can salvage or scavenge on the debris-filled seas. Toby has never known anything other than life onboard the Phoenix and he’s desperate for adventure. But when trouble comes hunting the Phoenix down, Toby realizes that what you wish for isn’t always what you want. He meets beautiful Ayla from the Banshee, a rival pirate ship and sworn enemy of the Phoenix, and his world is thrown into disorder. How can he know who to trust and what to believe? The future rests on him making an impossible choice…A gripping novel, perfect for fans of Anthony Horowitz, Eoin Colfer and Suzanne Collins.

Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

ABOUT BRYONY PEARCE

Please check out the amazing Bio Bryony has on her website HERE

Musical Moments: Song of the Month: April 2015: Chosen by Jay Crownover

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There is much fangirling happening at Book Angel Booktopia today :) Welcoming Jay Crownover with the song of the month for April and the upcoming release of ASA!!!!!!!!

Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

The song I pick is Streetlights by Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit…Jason Isbell is an amazing singer. songwriter and every single one of his songs tells a story. He’s ended up on more than one of the Marked Men soundtracks in fact. I like that his music has a point, makes you invested and takes you on a journey. That’s what I try to do with each book I write.

This particular story is about a guy getting drunk in a bar, of course fitting since most of Asa’s book takes place in a bar, but more than that it’s haunting, desperate and lonely. The guy in the song is lost at the end and trying to find his way home but he’s not really sure where that is or what that means…just like my southern charmer. He’s wandering around aimlessly and just trying to figure out where he needs to be.

Those emotions are ones that echo how Asa feels as he tried to figure out this new life he’s found himself in and how to deal with a girl that wants him despite how awful he thinks he is.

There is also the fact that Americana music is the perfect blend of bluesy country and bouncy pop with catchy lyrics. I kind of feel that’s a good mash up of how both Asa and Royal can be perceived. He’s all southern charm and twang, she’s bubbly and infectious…together they make something unexpected and lovely.

Received from Publisher

Received from Publisher

Musical Moments: Song of the Month: March 2015: Chosen by Trisha Wolfe

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I cannot tell you how much I adore this woman, it’s like she’s got a direct line into my mind sometimes. I am delighted to welcome Trisha Wolfe to Book Angel Booktopia today to share the Song of the Month for March 2015, coinciding with the publication of her latest book, Fading Out.

Enjoy

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Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Emma! You know how much I adore you, and it’s such an honor to be asked to host your March event. Thank you.

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The scene below is from my current release in my New Adult Living Heartwood series, FADING OUT. While I was writing this scene, I had to really put myself in Ari’s place. Feel how she was feeling; all the pressure and anxiety of living up to her family’s standards. Trying to be so many things for so many people that finally, you just snap. And that’s exactly what Ari did here. She tossed caution to the wind, desiring just for one moment to let loose and enjoy life. Though, I have to admit, she kept her emotions bottled for so long that when she finally let loose, she went kaboom.

 FADING OUT Excerpt

Received from Author

Received from Author

I chose Korn’s Never Never because the lyrics reflect so much of what Ari tries to force herself to believe. She’s been scorned by someone she cared for, trusted. She doesn’t want to let another person into her very closed off world. Ryder is forcing his way in, tearing down her walls, and she’s desperate to keep him from seeing the real her—the one she believes isn’t worth his love.

Received from Author

Received from Author

Musical Moments: Song of the Month: February ’15: Chosen by Samantha Young

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I am so excited to welcome Samantha Young to Book Angel Booktopia today. I am a huge fan of her On Dublin Street series and couldn’t wait to read her latest book Hero.

Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

Alexa Holland’s father was her hero—until her shocking discovery that she and her mother weren’t his only family. Ever since, Alexa has worked to turn her life in a different direction and forge her own identity outside of his terrible secrets,. But when she meets a man who’s as damaged by her father’s mistakes as she is, Alexa must help him.

Caine Carraway wants nothing to do with Alexa’s efforts at redemption, but it’s not so easy to push her away. Determined to make her hate him, he brings her to the edge of her patience and waits for her to walk away. But his actions only draw them together and, despite the odds, they begin an intense and explosive affair.

Only Caine knows he can never be the white knight that Alexa has always longed for. And when they’re on the precipice of danger, he finds he’ll do anything to protect either one of them from being hurt again…

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Be sure to check back on the 4th of March for my review 😉

Ingrid Michaelson’s ‘This is War’ sums up who Alexa is but also her journey with Caine. Alexa is a fighter and she refuses to give up on what she thinks is best for her. She shares a complicated history with Caine and that makes it difficult for Caine to really open up to Alexa, but the lyrics to ‘This is War’ tell the reader exactly what she makes of that, and how strong her determination is, despite how intense the battle to win is…

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You can follow the book playlist on spotify:

Musical Moments: Song of the Month: Chosen by Gayle Forman

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It is a HUGE honour to welcome Gayle Forman to Book Angel Booktopia today to share the song of the month for January. Coinciding with the release of I was Here.

Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

This characteristically powerful novel follows eighteen-year-old Cody Reynolds in the months following her best friend’s shocking suicide.

As Cody numbly searches for answers as to why Meg took her own life, she begins a journey of self-discovery which takes her to a terrifying precipice, and forces her to question not only her relationship with the Meg she thought she knew, but her own understanding of life, love, death and forgiveness.

A phenomenally moving story, I Was Here explores the sadly all-too-familiar issue of suicide and self-harm, addressing it in an authentic way with sensitivity and honesty.

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I Was Here song: “Fireflies” by Bishop Allen

I seem to have a thing about fireflies. I don’t think you have them in Britain, and we didn’t have them where I grew up in California but in summer on the east coast of the US, they arrive, these ugly little insects that would be entirely unremarkable, except their backsides light up a yellowish green colour. There is something magical about them. Fireflies have become a recurring motif in my work – you’ll find references in Sisters in Sanity, Where She Went, and in my short story in the anthology, My True Love Gave To Me. So, yeah. I’m a little obsessed. Apparently I’m not the only one. There are a lot of great songs about fireflies or featuring fireflies.

Fireflies have found their way into my latest book, I Was Here, but with even more significance than before. Early on Cody’s best friend Meg, becomes kind of obsessed with Firefly songs after she comes across the Heavens To Betsy song “Firefly.” (Look it up; it’s fantastic.) I decided Meg would compile a list of Firefly songs and as I was searching for more songs, I came across the Bishop Allen song “Fireflies.” I was already a fan of the band, but I’d never heard this track before. When I listened to it, I knew it was the song of the book. The  lyric “oh so brief and bright,” perfectly describes Meg’s life (and was on the shortlist of titles). But it was the line “It says you can still forgive her, and she will forgive you back, ”(which is quoted in the book)  that really hit me in the gut. It speaks to the heart of this book: forgiveness. It also happens to be a beautiful, haunting song.

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There are a number of brilliant songs mentioned throughout the book that I have put into a playlist on Spotify. I’m not sure I managed to pick up all the songs mentioned, please let me know if I have missed any.

While Gayle doesn’t have a specific playlist for her books she does have a wonderfully eclectic selection of music. You can follow her playlists on Spotify HERE