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The Almost Girl by Amalie Howard….Review * Guest Tour

THE ALMOST GIRL BY AMALIE HOWARD- REVIEW AND GUEST POST TOUR

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Synopsis:

17 year-old Riven comes from a world ravaged by a devastating android war, a parallel world to Earth. A Legion General, she is the right hand of the young Prince of Neospes. In Neospes, she has everything: rank, responsibility and respect. But when Prince Cale sends her away to find his long-lost brother, Caden, who has been spirited back to modern day Earth, Riven finds herself in uncharted territory. Thrown out of her comfort zone but with the mindset of a soldier and in a race against time to bring Caden home, Riven has to learn how to be a girl in a realm that is the opposite of what she knows. Will Riven be able to find the strength to defy her very nature? Or will she become the monstrous soldier she was designed to be?

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BUY LINKS:

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REVIEW

This is the first book I have ever read by Amelia Howard. I read some of the reviews before digging into this book (something I normally don’t do) since I had never heard of the author before and wanted to get an idea what I was getting into. I realized that this book was being re-published so I pretty much felt that any reviews before the new published date may not truly reflect the ARC that I was given in exchange for an honest review. With that being said – on to my review.

The blurb of The Almost Girl is what truly pulled me in after seeing the cover. The cover is very fitting for this story and I applaud both the author and the cover designer because they nailed that.

The plot is unique and very interesting. One thing I liked was that I was able to get a really clear picture of Neospes and that entire world – their inhabitants and how that world evolved and worked. The characters in this book were a bit harder for me to connect to. However, to me that didn’t hinder the story line. If anything – it sort of went along with the characteristics of some. Without giving to much away – Riven’s world is nothing like Earth.

I really enjoyed this story. I was pulled into the Riven’s world and their ins and outs of everything. It’s interesting to see the differences between Earth and Neospes and how people are treated and regarded. Riven has to figure out how to blend in with teenagers on Earth. Even though she herself is the same age as them, her upbringing in Neospes forced her to grow up quicker and act more like an adult at an incredibly young age.

I believe that the writer did a good job of trying to keep the characters true to themselves and their characteristics. It’s not easy to write how a teenager should act like an adult because of how she was raised yet blend in with kids her age whom she’s never been around before. But Amelia did a great job of balancing it out. My biggest gripe and why I couldn’t give this book 4 stars is the ending – it was very no-climatic for me. There was a huge buildup for a war and then aside from the fight between two characters, it just felt like someone deflated the whole thing. But I am still interested to see what happens next.

All in all, I really enjoyed the world that Amelia created and the characters. I am looking forward to reading her next installment in this series.

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Character Inspiration & Dream Cast for The Almost Girl

When I was initially doing the character study for Riven (whose name means ripped apart), I knew that I wanted her to be fierce. After all, she becomes a General of an army at fourteen and she comes from a very tough universe, so she has to be the result of that. In Neospes, there’s no room for softness and emotion. Those are the things that can get you killed. As a result, Riven is the perfect product of her environment. She’s a very intense character. I needed her to be powerful, highly skilled, focused, and mature.

My inspiration for Riven’s character came from a few different sources. The first was Max from Dark Angel TV series. I loved the fact that Max was so capable and fierce, but was also so guarded. I wanted my character to be similar—especially as she navigates the new terrain of a parallel universe that is the complete opposite to her own. Like Max, Riven has to learn how to trust and how to love while still being strong and lethal. My second source of inspiration was Leeloo from the movie The Fifth Element, one of my all time favs (and yes, I know I’m a total nerd). I love that scene where Leeloo takes out the Mangalores singlehandedly. She, like Max, is fierce, but in a different way. She’s built to be the Earth’s defender—the fifth element—and she has to learn about who we are as humans before she’s able to do the job she was created to do. I liked her inner fragility when it came to learning about love, and I wanted Riven to have the same sort of feel—hard and unapproachable on the outside, yet soft and curious on the inside. Last but not least, there’s definitely some Ellen Ripley in there, but it’s the Ripley from Alien Resurrection, where she has inherited some of the alien traits. She’s so awesome during that basketball scene in the mess hall on the ship. I loved her innate confidence and unflappable nature. I wanted Riven to have some of those qualities. Highly trained, she knows who she is and what she can do.

Like all of these amazing, multi-faceted heroines, I wanted to create a dynamic character who is forced to question everything she is and everything she knows. A soldier first, Riven is hard on the outside but still vulnerable on the inside—I wanted readers to relate to her struggle throughout the novel to let go of all her rules and be a girl. We build so many walls to keep from being hurt that we don’t allow ourselves to connect with others. As a character, Riven has to dig down deep to embrace her emotions against everything she has been taught. In the end, is she brave enough to learn how to trust her heart? Will she always be the tough, invulnerable soldier? Or will she find a balance between the two?

DREAM CAST

RIVEN – Astrid Berges OR Imogen Poots

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CADEN – Brenton Thwaites or Nicholas Hoult

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SHAE – Sienna Guillory
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AURELA – Charlize Theron

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Riven’s Father – Michael Fassbender

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Era Taylor – Famke Janssen

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PRAISE FOR THE ALMOST GIRL:

“A high-octane thriller. SF and dystopia fans will be right at home with this book and its fierce, capable heroine.” ~ Publishers Weekly

“Amalie Howard writes a fast paced and thrilling story with a kick butt, authentic heroine and a brilliantly crafted world.“ ~ Eve Silver, author of Rush

“The Almost Girl is a feminist tour de force. It is filled with powerful, interesting female characters. Riven is one of my favorite fictional characters ever; she is fierce, passionate, funny and smart. This sexy, fast-paced story is impossible to put down. A must read! Fans of Divergent will love it!“ ~ Kim Purcell, author of Trafficked

“A riveting union of science fiction thriller, romance, family drama, and conspiracy theory, The Almost Girl had me wishing I could crawl inside the pages and join Riven on her epic journey between parallel worlds. Amalie Howard’s writing is sharp and smart. I’m definitely craving the next installment!” ~ Page Morgan, author of The Beautiful & The Cursed

About Amalie:

Amalie-Headshot1-233x300AMALIE HOWARD grew up on a small Caribbean island (Trinidad & Tobago) where she spent most of her childhood with her nose buried in a book or running around barefoot, shimmying up mango trees and dreaming of adventure. 25 countries, surfing with sharks and several tattoos later, she has traded in bungee jumping in China for writing the adventures she imagines instead. She isn’t entirely convinced which takes more guts.

An aspiring writer from a young age, Amalie’s poem “The Candle,” written at age twelve, was published in a University of Warwick journal. At fifteen, she was a recipient of a Royal Commonwealth Society Essay Award (a global youth writing competition). A Colby College graduate, she completed simultaneous Honors Theses in both French and International Studies, and graduated Summa Cum Laude/Phi Beta Kappa. At Colby, she was cited for research and criticism in Raffael Scheck’s article, “German Conservatism and Female Political Activism in the Early Weimar Republic,” and his subsequent book, Mothers of the Nation. She also received a distinction in English Literature from the University of Cambridge (A-levels) as well as a certificate in French Literature from the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, France. Traveling the globe, she has worked as a research assistant, marketing representative, teen speaker and global sales executive.

She is the author of several young adult novels critically acclaimed by Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, VOYA, and Booklist, including Waterfell, The Almost Girl, and Alpha Goddess, a Spring 2014 Kid’s INDIE NEXT title. Her debut novel, Bloodspell, was a #1 Amazon bestseller and a Seventeen Magazine Summer Read. She is also the co-author of the adult historical romance series, THE LORDS OF ESSEX. As an author of color and a proud supporter of diversity in fiction, her articles on multicultural fiction have appeared in The Portland Book Review and on the popular Diversity in YA blog. She currently resides in Colorado with her husband and three children.

 

Comments

  1. kathy valentine says:

    sounds real good, i like the , the dream cast too.

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