Author: Wendy Spinale

Rockstar Review: Umberland

Posted May 12, 2017 by Emily in Blog Tour, Giveaway, Review / 1 Comment

Rockstar Review: Umberland

Rockstar Review: UmberlandUmberland by Wendy Spinale
Series: Everland #2
Published by Scholastic Press on May 9th, 2017
Pages: 288
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon

What began with a reimagining of Peter Pan and Wendy now twists into a stunning version of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass!
Gwen, Pete, and the others have escaped from Everland. But the safe haven they hoped to find at Alnwick Castle doesn't exist. With the Queen of England on her deathbed, Duchess Alyssa has stepped in to lead, but things have gotten worse as the cure Doc created for the Horologia virus has mutated, accelerating the disease. The only possible solution he can think of is to go back to the virus's origin: an extinct poisonous apple.
Legend has it a tree bearing the apple might be found at the center of a deadly labyrinth hidden deep within Germany. A place that no one in their right mind enters. Leaving Pete in charge of the survivors, Alyssa sets out with only her sword, her wits, and the help of Maddox Hadder, a wild boy who oversees the castle gardens. To get to the center of the maze, she'll be forced to battle monsters more terrifying than her darkest nightmares.
But can anyone truly survive the madness of the maze? And what if there's no apple to be found there?

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Find it: AmazonBarnes & NobleTBD, iBooksGoodreads

About the Author

I must admit, I have lived an extraordinary life and will forever be grateful for the opportunities I have had.

I was the middle of three kids, my older brother being deaf for as far back as I can remember. At the time, I didn’t realize how much that would later impact my life. I was a sign language interpreter for a short time (although I’m extremely rusty now), taught my kids to sign as infants, and now am using that experience in my current manuscript.

During college I was living in southern California working for Disneyland as a Cast Member in the Entertainment Department. I met my husband there who was also a performer. After four incredible years working with the Mouse, we moved to his hometown in the Bay Area.

I eventually got my Bachelor’s in Kinesiology and worked in the fitness industry for ten years before a knee injury ended my career. Not sure what to do with my time, I applied to job posting to be an online journalist. I loved writing, but had no experience. I didn’t hear back so I wrote up a review about a local restaurant and sent it to them to prove I could do the job. Twenty-four hours later, I was a journalist with AOL Media/Pleasanton Patch.

I spent three great years with them before cut backs forced me without a job again. That’s when I started writing my first novel, which went nowhere. Dozens of rejection letters later. I started a second book. A year later I was offered representation by Thao Le from Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency and within another six months I was offered a book deal. EVERLAND (Scholastic) is scheduled to debut Summer of 2016!

Today I live in the Bay Area with my husband and three sons who are my biggest fans. While they’re off at work and school, I bounce ideas off my four-legged, furry family members, Odie and Sammy.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram

Follow the Tour

Week One:
5/1/2017Tales of the Ravenous ReaderInterview
5/2/2017A Glass Of Wine BlogReview
5/3/2017Margie’s Must ReadsExcerpt
5/4/2017Swoony Boys PodcastReview
5/5/2017Brittany’s Book RamblesGuest Post

Week Two:
5/8/2017BookHounds YAReview
5/9/2017Two Chicks on BooksInterview
5/10/2017History from a Woman’s PerspectiveReview
5/11/2017YA Books CentralInterview
5/12/2017Emily Reads Everything Spotlight


3 winners will receive a finished copy of UMBERLAND, US Only.

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ARC Review: Everland

Posted May 26, 2016 by Emily in Review / 1 Comment

ARC Review: EverlandEverland by Wendy Spinale
Series: Everland #1
Published by Scholastic Press on May 10th 2016
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: Paperback
Source: Free for Review
Buy on Amazon

Forget the story of Peter Pan you know. Because in Everland, the only way to grow up is to survive.
London has been destroyed in a blitz of bombs and disease. The only ones who have survived are children, among them Gwen Darling and her siblings, Joanna and Mikey. They spend their nights scavenging and their days avoiding the ruthless Marauders -- the German Army led by Captain Hanz Otto Oswald Kretschmer.
Unsure if the virus has spread past England's borders but desperate to leave, Captain Hook hunts for a cure, which he thinks can be found in one of the survivors. He and his Marauders stalk the streets snatching children for experimentation. None ever return. Until the day they grab Joanna. As Gwen sets out to save her, she meets a mysterious boy named Pete. Pete offers the assistance of his gang of Lost Boys and the fierce sharpshooter Bella, who have all been living in a city hidden underground. But in a place where help has a steep price and every promise is bound by blood, it will cost Gwen. And are she, Pete, the Lost Boys, and Bella enough to outsmart Captain Hook?

Everland blows every trope that common retellings exhibit out of the water. This book manages to straddle the line of using the source material as inspiration and using the source material as a reference. ItÂ’s obvious to me that this book is an homage to Peter Pan but itÂ’s also its own story. You can see the source material in the story, but itÂ’s under the surface. Enough about it has changed that Everland is fascinating in its own right.

Before reading the book, I didn’t realize how perfectly the front cover matches the theme of the novel either. I don’t usually study covers. It wasn’t until I took this picture for my Instagram that I noticed the ‘fairy’ on the cover is a girl with steampunk wings. I’m a sucker for steampunk so that clinched my desire to read it. I was not disappointed.

Based in our world, Wendy Spinale creates a Post Apocalyptic alternative history where Germany has won World War 2 by using biological weapons in addition to their bombs. Children literally never grow up in this gritty urban wasteland. There is a German occupation of London, but it barely matters with the population cowed by a ravaging disease.

I loved how this book effortlessly merges a dystopian science fiction novel with a classic fairy tale. ItÂ’s done with a grace and subtlety that reminded me a lot of how Marissa Meyer blended science fiction and steampunk in her Lunar chronicles. The two series are completely different but the intentions are the same and so is the skill required.

I enjoyed this book immensely and I canÂ’t wait for the next one!