Saturday, 16 November 2013

Blog Tour for Cracked: Guest Post: Top Ten Favourite Books by Eliza Crewe

Firstly, I apologise for not having this up sooner, I've been on the phone all morning to my internet provider, as I haven't been able to connect to the internet. Anyway...

Today, I have a special surprise for you. Before I hand you over to Eliza, I'd just like to say I am so excited to be on this tour, not just because I really enjoyed Cracked (which I did) but, it's been a fun experience to participate. So, thank you both for letting me do this, and for the witty answers. So, you guys, you're in great hands.


Top Ten Favorite Books


Thank you for having me, Kirsty-Marie!


Picking ten favorite books is an impossible task (seriously, try it!). There are so many I love, and for completely different reasons.  Some made me laugh, some cry, some made me see the world in a new light, while others were unique and clever.  It’s beyond comparing apples to oranges--more like apples to elephants! In the end I cried “mercy” and scribbled down the first ten books (or authors, I know, I know, that’s cheating. Sue me.) that came to mind.


Song of the Lioness & Protector of the Small by Tamora Pierce

I must have read each of these series a million times.  I think they appealed to me because they were the first fantasies I’d read where the heroine fills a traditionally “masculine” role.  In Song of the Lioness the main character impersonates a boy so she can learn to fight and ends up becoming one of the country’s greatest heroes.  Protector of the Small takes place after Song of the Lioness and talks about what happens to the next generation of girls who want to be fighters, now that one of the greatest heroes in the realm is a woman.  With big brothers, I think I felt gender-injustice keenly and these books captured that feeling. Plus, the main characters just kick butt!


The Valdemar books by Mercedes Lackey

I put these right after Tamora Pierce, because, honestly, I feel like they are the “adult” version. A lot of kick-butt heroines--in fact, the first book I read in this series was By The Sword, about a female mercenary. A lot of the same themes plus talking horses--what’s not love?


Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

While I loved reading about these kick-butt warrior women above, in actuality I had a lot more in common with Anne Shirley: Bookish, daydreamy and constantly getting into “scrapes,” as she puts it.   Plus, I adore a good historical. Anne was obviously a favorite, but I enjoyed Emily and Pat as well.


The Queen of Attolia Series by Megan Whalen Turner

The Queen of Attolia Series is just BRILLIANT.  Probably some of the cleverest plotting I’ve ever enjoyed. Turner is the definition of show-not-tell.  Hell, she doesn’t even really show, just drops enough clues so at the exact right moment, you’re like HOLY SHIT I SO GET IT!!!  She puts more between the lines than most people manage to put into them.


The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Curtis Lee

I’ve always loved historical novels and this one might just be the best I’ve ever read.  The main character, Miss Deza Malone, is mighty indeed.  She is courageous with a lemonade-outlook that is incredibly endearing.  She’s also an African American girl living through the Great Depression, so it’s a time, place, and point of view I don’t have much experience with. Lastly, the historical setting in this book feels authentic. Many historical authors tend to regurgitate a lot of the same details—and ignore a lot of the hard truths of an era--to the point where the setting feels more like a shared fantasy universe than a real time and place in history (historical romance, I’m looking at you--but don’t worry, I still love you anyway).  The Mighty Miss Malone has unique and realistic details about the setting that made me feel like I was really there. In some cases, the details were unflinchingly realistic.  For example, I read this book over a year ago (maybe two) and I still remember the description of Deza’s rotting teeth, and how the family treated it themselves because they were destitute. (Okay, that detail makes it sound like a depressing book, but it’s really not.  Quite the contrary, it was one of the most uplifting books I’ve read in a long time.)


Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Oh, Scarlett, you detestably wonderful girl, how I love/hate you.  Not only is Scarlett a killer anti-hero, but the Rhett/Scarlett love story actually reminds me a lot of the Megan Whalen Turner books.  Mitchell lays all this groundwork showing Rhett’s love for Scarlett, but she doesn’t let you see the enormity of it until the very end. Then BLAM--a HOLY SHIT moment. Plus can we just enjoy that there isn’t a happy ending?


Chime by Franny Billingsley

This one is different and clever and funny, but beyond that, I happened to read it at the perfect time.  After I wrote Cracked, which is (a) about a monstrous, unapologetically evil girl; and (b) a little bizarre in style, I was concerned that it was too weird and broke too many writing “rules” for anyone to ever enjoy it.  There aren’t a ton of antihero books, even fewer YA antihero books, and I couldn’t think of a single YA female anti-hero book, and it all just caused me to panic about this monster (literally) I’d created. Right then, I happened to read Chime.  The main character, Briony Larkin, is a delightfully horrid girl, and the style of Chime is unusual.  The narrator talks directly to the reader and shares little inside jokes (“laughing hair and curling eyes”--teehee!) and it reminded me that writing is fun, and if I loved Cracked maybe someone else would, too.


To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

There were only two books that I read in high school that I enjoyed, and this was one of them.  I love Scout, I love how the story is told through her innocent lens, I love the description of the day-to-day life of a girl during this time period. I reread it recently, and still felt the same way.


Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane

This is the other book I read in high school that stayed with me. I can’t really say I enjoyed it, because I don’t really think it’s a book you enjoy.  It’s an autobiography of a black boy growing up in South Africa during Apartheid and parts of this book are truly horrific.  But it stuck with me in a big way--I read it once over a decade ago and still haven’t forgotten it.


Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie

This book is impossible not to love. It’s the autobiography of a Native American boy who lives on a reservation, but who attends school off it.  The topics covered are serious--racism, death, cycles of poverty--but Alexie writes it in a way that is both heartbreaking and humorous.  It’s one of those books that made me laugh and cry and opened my eyes at the same time. I recommend it like crazy.


What about you?  What are your top ten favorites?


It is extremely hard to just pick ten, so I am going by my favourites right now. Harry Potter (Now who's cheating? Not sorry.) Vampire Academy series, (Again, not sorry), Heart-Shaped Bruise, The Fault In Our Stars, Blood Brothers, Thirteen Reasons Why (Though I hate it, too.), Willow , Anna Dressed in Blood, Speak, 17 & Gone (and one for luck) Confessions: The Private School Murders.

What about you guys? What's in your Top Ten? Now, go buy Cracked, , Meda is one hell of a character, sarcastic and funny, she totally cracked me up. (Yes, I went there, shh.) You won't regret it!


Meet Meda. She eats people.

Well, technically, she eats their soul. But she totally promises to only go for people who deserve it. She’s special. It’s not her fault she enjoys it. She can’t help being a bad guy. Besides, what else can she do? Her mother was killed and it’s not like there are any other “soul-eaters” around to show her how to be different. That is, until the three men in suits show up.

They can do what she can do. They’re like her. Meda might finally have a chance to figure out what she is. The problem? They kind of want to kill her. Before they get the chance Meda is rescued by crusaders, members of an elite group dedicated to wiping out Meda’s kind. This is her chance! Play along with the “good guys” and she’ll finally figure out what, exactly, her ‘kind’ is.

Be careful what you wish for. Playing capture the flag with her mortal enemies, babysitting a teenage boy with a hero complex, and trying to keep one step ahead of a too-clever girl are bad enough. But the Hunger is gaining on her.

The more she learns, the worse it gets. And when Meda uncovers a shocking secret about her mother, her past, and her destiny… she may finally give into it.


Worldwide (except India): The Robot Reader (E-book)
UK: Amazon – Book Depository
US: Amazon – Quail Ridge Books – Flyleaf Books – Barnes and Noble - Indiebound – Powell’s
Canada: Amazon - Chapters - Kobo



Photograph by Abigail Seymour
  Eliza Crewe always thought she’d be a lawyer, and even went so far as to complete law school.  But as they say, you are what you eat, and considering the number of books Eliza has devoured since childhood, it was inevitable she’d end up in the literary world. She abandoned the lawyer-plan to instead become a librarian and now a writer.

While she’s been filling notebooks with random scenes for years, Eliza didn’t seriously commit to writing an entire novel until the spring of 2011, when she and her husband bought a house. With that house came a half-hour commute, during which Eliza decided she needed something to think about other than her road-rage.  Is it any surprise she wrote a book about a blood-thirsty, people-eating monster?

Eliza has lived in Illinois, Edinburgh, and Las Vegas, and now lives in North Carolina with her husband, daughter, hens, an angry, talking, stuffed dwarf giraffe, and a sweet, mute, pantomiming bear. She likes to partially-complete craft projects, free-range her hens, and take long walks. Cracked is her first novel.

 Website / Twitter / Goodreads