March 29, 2013

Stung by Bethany Wiggins + Guest Post + Giveaway

Title: Stung
Author: Bethany Wiggins
Series: N/A
Source: Blog Tour (view tour schedule HERE.)
Publisher: Walkers Children
Publication Date: April 2, 2013
Goodreads||The Book Depository
There is no cure for being stung.

Fiona doesn’t remember going to sleep. But when she opens her eyes, she discovers her entire world has been altered—her house is abandoned and broken, and the entire neighborhood is barren and dead. Even stranger is the tattoo on her right hand—a black oval with five marks on either side—that she doesn’t remember getting but somehow knows she must cover at any cost. She’s right.

Those bearing the tattoo have turned into mindless, violent beasts that roam the streets and sewers, preying upon the unbranded while a select few live protected inside a fortress-like wall, their lives devoted to rebuilding society and killing all who bear the mark.

Now Fiona has awakened branded, alone—and on the wrong side of the wall.
Stung had all of the action that I would expect in a dystopian, but it was lacking in the character department. Even though I liked Fiona and Bowen, I felt like they were missing something. I think that I'll chalk Fiona up for memory loss-- it's kind of hard to have a good personality if you don't, well, know what you've been doing for the last four years. But Bowen doesn't have a very good excuse-- and it just seemed like they fell in love too quickly.

In a book like this, though-- I think that was acceptable. The author focused more on the action, which was good. It was fast-paced, along with being believable for a dystopian world. As always, though, I have a few questions. Where are all the women? Even in the wall, they seem to be scarce. And it never explains why-- it's just put out their and kind of forgotten about.

"There is no cure for being stung."

No one is ever stung. Let me let that sink in. The book really isn't about the possibility of being stung and the consequences. It's way after that. But telling you would involve revealing spoilers, so it's in the brackets if you wanna see it. [They genetically modify the bees, because they're all dying out. Then the genetically modified bees kill the regular ones, and release a toxin into the air that causes a deadly flu. So they invent a vaccine for it, which causes all of the people injected with it to go psycho insane. Basically, the vaccine causes it, not the sting.]

I gotta clarify something. I think that Fiona and Bowen were okay, but not desperately awesome, you know? I was rooting for them, and wondering where Fiona had come from. I was hoping that their romance would work out, even if it did happen in such a short time. But I'm an optimist, so I think this turned out fairly well.

All in all, I liked Stung, but there were some things I just couldn't get into.

Guest Post:
The Allure of Dystopia
by Bethany Wiggins

Thank you so much for taking part in the STUNG blog tour! And such an intriguing question! Why are people fascinated with dystopian societies/literature?

First of all, here is the definition of DYSTOPIA: Anti-utopia, an imaginary place where people lead dehumanized and often fearful lives.

Here's what I think, but I am no expert. I think people are intrigued by the possibility that we, as a society, may one day end up as a "dystopian" society. I mean, the "end of the world" has been talked about for centuries! And from a number of different sources, like the Bible, Nostradamus, the Mayans (obviously they weren't correct since I am alive to post this!), Edgar Cayce . . . the list goes on and on. 

There is a lot of turmoil in our world right now, with natural disasters, political unrest, religious unrest, wars--I could go on, but I won't. So, with everything happening around us, I think people almost sense a change in things, worry that it may be a BAD change, and gravitate to books that are sort of the "What if's" of the future.

What do I mean by "What if's?" Well, take The Hunger Games for example. What if your country gets so bad that it really is divided into thirteen divisions, and people are forced to send two children to fight to the death to keep the peace? I think people can almost imagine society taking such a downward spiral that we end up living a dystopian life.

That brings me to STUNG. I based a lot of the plot for STUNG on events that are happening right now in the world. Take the bees. What if the bees start dying off in such extreme numbers that the government sees genetic modification as our only hope of saving them? And what if it backfires? Or, what if the government produces some vaccine that the news says we all need if we want to live . . . but what if the FDA didn't do enough research on the vaccine and in the long run it does more harm than good? There are endless possibilities and ways that our society can go from what it is now, to REALLY BAD! 

Anyway, I am rambling! So, in a nutshell, I think people gravitate to books that have an iota of truth, or an iota of a possible future--no matter how far-fetched--and that is why they are currently gobbling up dystopian novels. Because maybe all of those sources predicting end of the world doomsday woes aren't wrong. Maybe we will be living in a dystopian society one day! Mwa ha ha! Or maybe they like to read the stories where life is really bad because it reminds them how good we really do have it. 

About the Author:

Bethany Wiggins has always been an avid reader, but not an avid writer.  She failed ninth grade English because she read novels instead of doing her homework. In high school, she sat alone at lunch and read massive hardback fantasy novels (Tad Williams and Robert Jordan anyone?). It wasn't until the end of her senior year that the other students realized she was reading fiction--not the Bible.

Once upon a time, Bethany's sister dared her to start writing an hour a day until she completed a novel. Bethany wrote a seven-hundred page fantasy novel that she wisely let no one read--but it taught her how to write.  She is the author of SHIFTING, STUNG (April 2013), and CURED (2014).

Find Bethany: Website | Goodreads | Twitter
Find Stung: Goodreads | Barnes and Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository | IndieBound
This giveaway is for four signed copies of Stung and honey sticks!! Woohoo! :D
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