Sunday, March 1, 2015

ReRead Review | Rootless by Chris Howard - with Audiobook Notes

Rootless by Chris Howard
Series: Rootless #1
Published by Scholastic
Publish Date: November 1, 2012
336 Pages
Source: Audiobook - Library

Find it on: Goodreads / Amazon / B&N 

17-year-old Banyan is a tree builder. Using scrap metal and salvaged junk, he creates forests for rich patrons who seek a reprieve from the desolate landscape. Although Banyan's never seen a real tree—they were destroyed more than a century ago—his father used to tell him stories about the Old World. But that was before his father was taken . . .

Everything changes when Banyan meets a woman with a strange tattoo—a clue to the whereabouts of the last living trees on earth, and he sets off across a wasteland from which few return. Those who make it past the pirates and poachers can't escape the locusts—the locusts that now feed on human flesh.

But Banyan isn't the only one looking for the trees, and he's running out of time. Unsure of whom to trust, he's forced to make an uneasy alliance with Alpha, an alluring, dangerous pirate with an agenda of her own. As they race towards a promised land that might only be a myth, Banyan makes shocking discoveries about his family, his past, and how far people will go to bring back the trees.

In this dazzling debut, Howard presents a disturbing world with uncanny similarities to our own. Like the forests Banyan seeks to rebuild, this visionary novel is both beautiful and haunting—full of images that will take permanent root in your mind . . . and forever change the way you think about nature.
 (from Goodreads) 

Rootless by Chris Howard

WHY I Wanted to Re-Read: When I first found out about this ReRead Challenge, it was a no-brainer for me to throw Rootless into the reread pile. This is one of my absolute favorite books to read; I've read it something like five or six times from start-to-finish. My goodreads is nowhere near accurate for total reads of this book, partly because I tend to pick it up and open to random pages and begin there. 

One thing that was so much fun about rereading this time is that it was my FIRST reread of 2015 because it's my favorite travel audiobook! Doggone it, I love this story. But listening to it when I'm driving long distances is just as fun as listening to some of my favorite driving music. My family took a vacation that overlapped the New Year's holiday; I began listening while on vacay, but finished on the drive home -- so much fun to drive while listening, mostly because HELLO, ACTION in the middle and end of the book. 


WHEN I First Read ItI first read Rootless in October 2012, just before the book was released. I remember sitting down and barely moving while I read the entire book. I couldn't sit still, I couldn't recline. I held my breath in certain parts, I clutched my poor Kindle until I probably almost broke it in certain parts, and then I finally exhaled at the end of the book, exhausted. THOSE ARE THE BEST BOOKS, THE VERY BEST. 

My initial review of Rootless has been one of my favorite to write to date. 
I've listed lots of the cool things about Rootless in this review. 


WHAT I RememberI remember being swept up in adventure, in main character Banyan's world. There is a quest, which I always love. There are colorful characters that are oh-my-gosh so entertaining. I remember that I loved the hell out of this book, and I remember that it made me love trees even more than I already did. 

As soon as was possible, I bought the audiobook and listened to it - I had been highly anticipating it because I loved the sample that I'd heard and the narrator Nick Podehl is one of the best. Since my first read and since acquiring the audiobook, this has been one of my most-visited stories. 

My entire family loves it. Husband, kids. LOVES IT. It's one of only two YA audiobooks that every single person in my family has listened to. While the story is what is I love and what is important, the audiobook was the way I was able to share the story, while we were traveling. (That was on one of the previous rereads, by the way. This reread was all me, on my own. But my 9 year old was whiny because I wouldn't share my earbuds with him. He wanted to re-listen too.)


HOW I Felt After Re-Reading: Well, gosh, I felt like I do every time I reread this book: I want to high-five the author and I want to read the book again. 


WOULD I Re-Read Again: YEP. 


Fun stuff: Author Chris Howard has one of the coolest interactive websites I've ever seen. Also, I love it when authors include study guides to their books, probably because I always use them in homeschooling my middle-graders. Here's a great study guide for Rootless. I'd love to read this book in print along with my kids; we could use it to study all sorts of things and have a heck of a good time while doing it. If you're curious about Rootless, the author has made the first chapter available on his website


Rootless will appeal to fans of:

Post-apocalyptic/sci-fi mash-up. 
Great Characters. 
Great World-Building

Rootless by Chris Howard
is currently available for purchase.


Audiobook Notes: The Rootless by Chris Howard audiobook is published by Scholastic Audio and is 8 hours, 24 minutes long, Unabridged. The book is narrated by Nick Podehl who is undisputedly one of the best, which is actually PERFECT in the case of Rootless because of the cast of characters. This narrator is one of the best for doing different and varied voices and not dropping them, not forgetting the accents and dialects, etc. He gives his characters such great enthusiasm and emotion, and I promise that listening to this book is just like listening to good highway music, particularly during the parts with my favorite characters. I laugh out loud sometimes, I hold my breath sometimes, and I shake my head NO! sometimes - this is of course due in large part to the author's storytelling, but it would be unfair not to give credit to Nick Podehl's awesome interpretation of the story. Would I recommend this audiobook? Wholeheartedly - to first time readers, to rereaders, and also to reluctant readers. Classrooms and libraries should consider adding this audiobook to their collection. 

So far in the Rootless Series: 

Review | Perfect Kind of Trouble by Chelsea Fine

Perfect Kind of Trouble by Chelsea Fine
Series: Finding Fate #2
Published by 
Publish Date: June 17, 2014
Source: Publisher
Find it here:  Goodreads / Amazon / B&N

Sometimes when perfect falls apart, a little trouble fixes everything . . .

Twenty-one-year-old Kayla Turner has lost everything. After spending most of her life taking care of her ailing mother, she just wants to spot a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. So when her late father-a man she barely knew-leaves her an inheritance, she finally breathes a sigh of relief . . . until she learns the inheritance comes with strings. Strings in the form of handsome playboy Daren Ackwood, her father's protégé. To see any of her inheritance, she's forced to team up with him. From his expensive car to those sexy dimples, Kayla's seen his type before. But Daren isn't who he seems to be . . .

Struggling to make amends for his family's mistakes, Daren has a life more Oliver Twist than Richie Rich these days. He's beyond grateful that James Turner included him in his will, but working with Turner's princess of a daughter to fulfill his cryptic last wish is making Daren wonder if being broke is really so bad. Still, she's just as beautiful as she is stubborn, and the more time he spends with Kayla, the less it feels right being without her. Soon Daren and Kayla begin to wonder if maybe the best gift Kayla's dad could have left them . . . was each other.   (Goodreads) 
Perfect Kind of Trouble by Chelsea Fine

My Thoughts:  After recently reading Best Kind of Broken by Chelsea Fine, I had an inkling that I would like Perfect Kind of Trouble and yes! I was right. This second installment in the Finding Fate Series features Kayla Turner and Daren Ackwood. These two are introduced briefly in the first book but not to worry if you haven't read Best Kind of Broken, I think you would do just fine if you began here and worked your way through the series. 


Kayla Turner: Estranged from her father, in Copper Springs to attend his funeral, hoping for a mention in his Will because she is out of money. Her mother died not too long ago and left her in a financial bind. Despite the appearance of not-caring, she is brokenhearted at how things ended with her father, unresolved. 

Daren Ackwood: Known around town as a rich kid, but that isn't entirely true. He was an employee of Mr. Turner and had a great relationship with the older gentleman, sorta like a father-son relationship but they were not actually related. Daren is also heartbroken by the death of this man, he learned so much from him in his life. These two were like family to one another.  


Kayla and Daren spot each other at the funeral, each intrigued by the presence of the other. Both are present at the reading of The Will the day following the funeral and WHAT ON EARTH: Mr. Turner hints at a nice fortune for them both at the end of a...scavenger hunt? The stipulation to receiving the monetary award is that they both remain handcuffed throughout the entirety of the search. Sounds a bit crazy, and it makes them both antsy, but it makes for a really great read. 

These two have the hardest time getting along in the beginning but over time they learn to work together. They have a common goal, after all - both really do need the money they're hoping is at the end of this search. Neither plans on the emotional attachment that will come along with the scavenger hunt-although this is something that Mr. Turner did anticipate-and we-the-readers are the lucky ones that get to watch the romance unfold. 

Gosh, you guys, I enjoyed the heck out of the first book in the series - there was so much tension in that book, so much fun banter. I laughed and smiled while I was reading, and that is always such a great thing with me, a sign of certain reread-status! THOSE VERY SAME THINGS happened with Perfect Kind of Trouble-I loved the tension at the beginning, the slow-burn as a result of these two being forced into close proximity, and the resulting romance. I laughed at the idea of scavenger hunt, at their initial hatred of it and their little shows of rebellion, and the silliness of this idea and the actual fun of the story. 

Author Chelsea Fine is two-for-two you guys. TWO FOR TWO. I'm about to start on the third book in this series and the odds are pretty dang good for it! I have high hopes and I'm planning on clearing my schedule because if reading the third book is anything like reading the first two in this series, I'll be reading straight-thru and with a huge grin on my face. I love this series, I want more from this author, and I can't wait for you guys to pick up these books. I recommend Perfect Kind of Trouble by Chelsea Fine for readers that enjoy fun romance stories with happy endings that make you smile, and for readers that enjoy companion series. 


Perfect Kind of Trouble will appeal to fans of:

New Adult Contemporary Romance
Romance: No triangle. Slow-burn.
Alternating POV's
Great secondary characters

Perfect Kind of Trouble by Chelsea Fine 
is currently available for purchase.



Find Chelsea Fine:  Goodreads / Twitter / Facebook / Website 


Books in the Finding Fate Series: 

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