First Lines Fridays: June 3rd, 2016
Happy FLF, my favorite day of the week! Today’s lines are brought to you by one of my very favorite authors. That should narrow it down, right?
Each week I will pick a YA or NA book from my shelves and copy the first line, in an attempt to acquaint you with some new reads or reintroduce you to old favorites. We will have an accompanying Instagram pic to go along with our choices each week so check out #firstlinesfridays!
First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines? If you want to join the meme be sure to check out Wandering Words, and here are her rules below.
- Pick a book off your shelf (or your current read) and open to the first page.
- Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first.
- Finally…reveal the book!
Here we go . . .
Susanna always says, “Life is a strange bird, so grab it out of the air and look it in the eye before it flies away.”
This is the first line from Strikers Eastlands by Ann Christy. Isn’t it beautiful? Read on for my review of this incredible sequel to Strikers.
Publication: May 30th, 2016
Escape from Texas was only the beginning.
Karas and crew are free, but freedom is relative for a striker. Never sure when trouble might find them, they’ve spent a year trading along the great river and exploring the world they’ve only just discovered is real.
It’s a good life, but life on the sea is a treacherous thing. When a hurricane traps them between open ocean and the mysterious land of Florida – a place from which no visitor returns – they find themselves in greater danger than ever before.
Florida turns out to be more than a secretive place that hoards technology. It’s a land filled with dangerous plots and even more dangerous people. Texas is Florida’s enemy and nothing else matters except victory. Strikers like Karas and her friends are exactly what Florida has been looking for. Within their bodies they hold the keys to victory and Florida wants to posses those keys, no matter the cost. Whether or not the friends can survive contact with Florida will depend on how deeply they can dig into themselves for strength…and how much they’re willing to sacrifice.
The balmy evening falls while we bathe, the dusk long and beautiful.
Freedom is amazing and it makes the world around us almost shine with the feeling of it.
Nobody does grief like Ann Christy. Nobody rips my heart out, tears it into tiny pieces, stomps on them with glee, and then puts everything back together like Ann Christy.
I know, I know; what an endorsement, right? But it is, and here is why—I don’t do heart-wrenching very often. To me, real life is heart-wrenching enough, so I try very hard to read things that don’t make me cry for sad reasons. Ann Christy is one of the few authors whose books I will read despite knowing that I will be curled up with a box of Kleenex. That means that her writing has to be amazing for me to set aside the tissue issue (ha!) and just read. And damn if it isn’t always amazing. Every. Single. Time.
Strikers Eastlands packs quite a punch. I couldn’t wait to find out what Karas, Jovan, and the others had been doing. It turns out that they, too, took a year off, spending the time on the open ocean and enjoying their hard-earned freedom. To be honest, I actually expected the book to take place mostly on the water. Going into the book, I purposely didn’t read the synopsis, so I was surprised that the characters only spent about 15 of my reading minutes on the water until a hurricane destroyed their ship and stranded them on the coast of Florida, a state as equally feared and dreaded as Texas.
Ann writes with surgical precision; that is the only way I can think to most accurately describe her skills. Every word is precisely chosen, every sentence carefully crafted. I love reading her work because she is a smart, smart author who creates unapologetically smart characters. And unapologetically evil characters, and there are truly horrifying villains in Eastlands.
I don’t want to give away too much of the plot but I will say this: in Strikers, I felt like I was in the wide open air with Karas, feeling the dust, the dirt, the rain, and the sunshine. In this book, I felt claustrophobic, stagnant, frustrated, and horrified—not by the writing, but because of the writing. I was supposed to feel everything the characters were feeling (well, the protagonists. Let’s make that distinction clear.). And that all relates back to Ann’s amazing writing ability, her talent for world-building, and her creation of loveable, relatable “good guys” and diabolical “bad guys.”
The ending sets us up perfectly for the third and final book of the series, which is set to release in “Winter 2016.” That gives you plenty of time to read these two amazing books, if you’ve not done so already. If you have, well, then you and I can while away the months together, okay?
Strikers Eastlands: 5/5 stars. Gritty, brutal, heartbreaking, detailed, funny (yes, even with the heartbreak and horror, there were many moments of levity), a beautiful story of hope, determination, friendship.
We’ve spent this year whiling away our time, taking advantage of a heavenly pause between lives. –Karas
There’s no question that I have the best boyfriend in the world. He’s my certainty, my north star, my safety amidst so much that is unknown. I love him and, even better, I’m absolutely certain that he loves me too. That’s an amazing feeling, the certainty of love. –Karas
He winces a little at my blunt words. “They’re such bad people.”
“Who?” I ask. “Florida or Texas?”
He smiles sadly and says, “Both. Neither.” –Collin and Karas
Eyeing Jovan as he looks out the window, I wonder how many kids he wants to have. I’m not sure I want to ask, because if he says six, I’ll punch him in the solar plexus.