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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

First Impressions: Titans and Character, Driven (plus a bonus book...)

Awhile back, I had the idea that taking the beauty world's "First Impressions" approach to the book blogging world would be a pretty awesome move that I should do immediately. . . and then I sat on the idea for probably close to a year. Clearly, I move with urgency when an idea strikes...
But I've finally made myself sit down and impress some thoughts for to share with you firstly, and this was the result.

I explain more of the concept in the video, but if you are like, "Misty, I know what 'first impressions' is, it's kinda self-explanatory," and want to skip over my ramble and straight to the thoughts, the impressioning begins at the 2:35 mark.  But whether you sit through the ramble or not, I hope this helps you decide whether to put these books on your shelves or to-read lists. If you've already read them, feel free to share your thoughts, and if you'd like to see more First Impressions videos in the future, please let me know in the comments!


Titans by Victoria Scott
Get It | Add It
320 pages
Published February 23rd 2016 by Scholastic Press
From Victoria Scott, author of FIRE & FLOOD, comes a thrilling story of impossible odds.

Ever since the Titans first appeared in her Detroit neighborhood, Astrid Sullivan’s world has revolved around the mechanical horses. She and her best friend have spent countless hours watching them and their jockeys practice on the track. It’s not just the thrill of the race. It’s the engineering of the horses and the way they’re programmed to seem so lifelike. The Titans are everything that fascinates Astrid, and nothing she’ll ever touch.

She hates them a little, too. Her dad lost everything betting on the Titans. And the races are a reminder of the gap between the rich jockeys who can afford the expensive machines to ride, and the working class friends and neighbors of Astrid’s who wager on them.

But when Astrid’s offered a chance to enter an early model Titan in this year’s derby, well, she decides to risk it all. Because for a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, it’s more than a chance at fame or money. Betting on herself is the only way she can see to hang on to everyone in the world she cares about.

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
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409 pages
Published October 18th 2011 by Scholastic Press
It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

Character, Driven by David Lubar
Get It | Add It
304 pages
Published March 1st 2016 by Tor Teen
“Call me Cliff. By an accident of birth, I am well named for this story. Think about it. Cliff. Precipice. Edge. There you have it. I’m Cliff. Cliff Sparks.”

With only one year left of high school, seventeen-year-old Cliff Sparks is desperate to “come of age”―and find a girlfriend. But he’s never had much luck with girls. So when he falls for Jillian, a new classmate, at first sight, all he can do is worship her from afar. At the same time, Cliff has to figure out what to do with the rest of his life, since he’s pretty sure his unemployed father plans to kick him out of the house the minute he turns eighteen.

Time is running out for Cliff. He’s at the edge, on the verge, dangling―and holding on for dear life.

Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored video. Both Titans and Character, Driven were sent to me unsolicited as PR sample/review copies


  1. Yes! I most definitely want more First Impressions videos. You have a good snappy insight that's helpful and engaging.

    That was interesting about the 'Detroit' voice sounding southern. When I moved to Michigan over 20 years ago, I thought it amusing that lots of people in the Downriver area had a Southern accent and even used Southern terms, mannerisms, and even served Southern-style food. My hubby grew up here and explained there were a ton of people who moved here from the south for the car industry (particularly KY and AR- he calls Taylor, MI, 'Taylortucky'). Maybe that was part of what you were hearing? Or yeah, maybe she did just write with her own Southern voice. LOL. But still cool that she picked Detroit for her setting. I got a delightful surprise when I read Sophia Henry's hockey romance, Delayed Penalty, because it was set in Detroit and really felt like the characters were from there.

    Glad you got curious and did a quick compare of these two books. I've enjoyed Maggie S's Mercy Falls series and want to try her other one. It doesn't surprise me that you connected with the voice in her story.

    Haha! I like quirky and startling books, too. Hope Character Driven continues to engage you.

    1. Yeah, because of the auto plants and general factories, Michigan (and this corner in particular) had a HUGE influx of workers from the south all throughout the first 1/2 to 2/3s of the 20th century, so yeah, there is a definite southern influence and some tendencies as a result. Maybe that's why I'm able to spot it the way I do -- both sides of my family are from the south in the not too distant past, after all. (And I mean, how often do I say y'all? Hell, my dad pronounces washcloth WARSHcloth... Thank you for that, Tenn.-side of the family... ;P )
      And I'm sure it's hard to shake your own voice as a writer -- I mean, some things you can mimic, but there are things you probably don't even realize you do, like the rhythm of speech patterns, that are harder to identify and shake. And like I said, I'm sure most people wouldn't think a thing of it. And the setting IS kind of a perfect idea!

      I was a little surprised (just a little) to have connected to Maggie's writing so instantly -- though I read The Raven Boys last year and liked it quite a bit, I don't know that I would have called the voice so strong, and the only other book I've read by her (Shiver), I definitely DIDN'T like, and found the characters wooden. But that's why I try to always give an author at least one more chance -- the "bad" book you didn't like may have been a fluke, or they may write differently every time!

  2. I am flattered that you chose one of my books for your first first-impressions video. And I'm thrilled you liked what you read. Thank you.

    1. My pleasure! I can't wait to dig into it =)


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