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  • ARC Review: Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
  • ARC Review: The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver
  • Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
  • Review: Karmic Hearts by Jhing Bautista
  • Review: The Conspiration of the Universe by Kenneth Olanday

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe Guest Post + Giveaway!

It's day 8 of our event and we are having a blast! Aren't we?


And the awesomeness continues! Today we have a great author on the blog to talk a little bit about the dystopian genre!

Follow Megan: Website | Blog | Twitter

What's in a name?
(or, When is a dystopian not a dystopian?)

Genre labels are funny things. In theory, they exist so that people who like certain types of books can find more of that kind of book. Like GRACELING? Read some other fantasy. Love TWILIGHT? Grab more paranormal romances. But because few genres have a widely agreed-upon definition, and those definitions are often shifting based on trends and reader enthusiasm, sometimes they just make the reading experience more confusing.

I'd say I'm reasonably qualified to talk about this, because my upcoming novel, THE WAY WE FALL, has been most frequently labeled as a dystopian, though that's not how I think of it at all.

A dystopia is usually defined as a future society which is set up in a way that at least some of the inhabitants consider to be ideal, but which is actually terribly flawed. A classic example of this is Lois Lowry's THE GIVER, and recent novels that fit the definition include Suzanne Collins' THE HUNGER GAMES and Veronica Roth's DIVERGENT. Often these books also include characters realizing how flawed their society is and attempting to change it.

As the dystopian genre surged in popularity with the publication of THE HUNGER GAMES trilogy, the publishing definition of the term has expanded. A lot of the books selling as "dystopians" focus not on some brand new society, but on the ruins of our current one. A horrible catastrophe has destroyed normal life, and the characters are struggling just to stay alive and maybe pick up the pieces, as in Ilsa J. Bick's ASHES and the GONE series by Michael Grant. These sort of books I'd usually call "post-apocalyptic." There are certainly some dystopians that take place after an apocalypse of sorts, and both genres involve unpleasant futures, so I understand the cross-labeling. But not all dystopians follow a disaster, and not all stories about the after effects of a disaster involve a dystopia.

And occasionally stories that aren't quite either of these things are being considered dystopian as well. Take THE WAY WE FALL. When I was submitting it to agents, I referred to it as a "survival story." The deal announcement calls it as a "contemporary dystopian," which was intended to convey that it includes elements common in many dystopian/post-apocalyptic books, but is set in the present day. If I was going to get really specific about it, I'd say technically the best term would be straight out "apocalyptic." There is no ideal society, and it's not post any apocalypse--its the chronicling of the disaster itself, rather than the aftermath. (In the sequels the lines get a little more blurry, I'll admit.)

The fact that so many novels skim over the apocalypse and focus on what happens when it's over is part of what inspired me to write THE WAY WE FALL in the first place. I wanted to explore that fascinating in-between time, when everything is changing and the characters have no idea when or how it'll end. To be honest, though, I don't worry much about how my or other books are labeled, as long as the general sense is right. If readers want a clearer idea of what the story's about, that's what the book descriptions are for. Mainly I just hope people will enjoy the story I wanted to tell, regardless of what genre they call it!

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How is that for a guest post? I'd love how they call The Way We Fall... a 'contemporary dystopian', because the book certainly feels that way. It's a perfect term to capture what the book is really about.

The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe
Add The Way We Fall to your Goodreads list!

It starts with an itch you just can't shake. Then comes a fever and a tickle in your throat. A few days later, you'll be blabbing your secrets and chatting with strangers like they’re old friends. Three more, and the paranoid hallucinations kick in.


And then you're dead.


When a deadly virus begins to sweep through sixteen-year-old Kaelyn’s community, the government quarantines her island—no one can leave, and no one can come back.

Those still healthy must fight for dwindling supplies, or lose all chance of survival. As everything familiar comes crashing down, Kaelyn joins forces with a former rival and discovers a new love in the midst of heartbreak. When the virus starts to rob her of friends and family, she clings to the belief that there must be a way to save the people she holds dearest.

Because how will she go on if there isn't?

The Way We Fall comes out January 24, 2012, released by Disney Hyperion. Buy your copy at Amazon!

GIVEAWAY TIME! WIN A FINISHED COPY OF THE WAY WE FALL BY MEGAN CREWE!

Yep, we are giving away a finished copy! And yes, this is OPEN INTERNATIONALLY! Make sure to answer the question below or your entries will not count!

The Question: Put yourself into Kaelyn's position. At what lengths are you willing to go to in order to survive in a quarantined island?


a Rafflecopter giveaway


54 comments:

  1. That is a tough question. I'm guessing that my human instinct to survive would kick in and I'd do pretty much anything to live. I'd hate to think about what I would do for food. I imagine I'd no longer be a vegetarian. Eww!

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  2. So, I totally posted a comment already but I can't see it...

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  3. Honestly, I wouldn't know unless I was in that situation. But I'll say right now, that I'd go to pretty drastic lengths for me and the one that I love to survive :)

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  4. I would like to think that even if things got dire I would still be nice and not 'kill/hurt' anyone. Its one of those things that you really don't know until you are there.

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  5. I wouldn't eat people if it came to that. I would fight for it if I had to. This is basically "Survival of the Fittest."

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  6. I would succumb to silence, find a nice corner for myself, only go out at night to scavenge food and drink. Oh, wait! I'm already somewhat like that!
    But in all seriousness, I would probably be my normal self (which is in all honestly, quiet and polite) but I'd be more on my guard for thieves and creeps.

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  7. I would go to any length to survive. We only get one life. It cannot be wasted. Survival of the fittest.

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  8. Sounds like a great read! Thank you for the post and the giveaway! :D

    g.donaldcribbs@yahoo.com

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  9. I don't know if I'd have the chops to go all "survivor" to survive on an isolated island, but I know I want to live, so, yeah, I'd probably give it my best shot.

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  10. I would honestly do whatever I had to do. However, there are certain lines I still can't picture myself crossing. I don't think I could take someones life unless it were in self defense.

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  11. Anything and everything. No one ever thinks they would do the impossible or horrifying until they are forced with no other choice, but that's fact. Human instinct to survive will almost always silence your conscience.

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  12. I do not think there is much I wouldn't do to save myself or my loved ones if I was in a similar situation. I honestly doubt I would just give up, I would fight.

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  13. Absolutely anything to ensure mine and my families survival. In that type of situation you do what you need to or die. Sad but true.

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  14. I think I would end up doing what everyone does to survive... all the horrible things, as I read in so many books so far... sad but true =s

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  15. I suppose I can rationalize about it until it happens to me but I suspect probably I will do just about anything.

    lesly7ch(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  16. I guess I would try to survive to the best of my abilities but I won't kill people or be a cannibal. LOL.

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  17. Oh shoot. I am no good at these kind of questions (A) But I would just try my best to survive :D Would probably do whatever it took to stay alive.
    Love this giveaway, btw. <3 Can't wait to read this amazing book :)

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  18. I'm thinking pretty much whatever it takes to survive. I'm feisty.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  19. I probably would go sanely far, but no further, if that makes any sense whatsoever.
    I would never betray myself and would much rather protect the people I loved and risk my life for their sake; I think I'd be a quick footed and hiding in trees kind of person, and be quite good at the whole animal relations and eating safe foods things.

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  20. I can't say I know what I would do in such a situation, but the human survival spirit is strong and shows up when you least expect it.

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  21. I think I'd do my best to protect people I love. If it has to get ugly like Hunger Games, maybe I'd just sacrifice myself. I really hope that it will never happen to me though.

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  22. I think most people's survival instincts would kick in and you would do anything you had to do to survive. You mentioned The Hunger Games, and I think that is a perfect example of how far people would go to survive. I would definitely team up with a rival if that was what I had to do:)

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  23. When it comes to doing what you have to do in order to survive, I suspect many, if not all, of us are willing and able to go to lengths we never would have expected of ourselves. I don't really want to contemplate just how far I'd be willing to go, but I suspect I'd do whatever it took especially if I was looking out for a loved one at the same time!

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  24. Great post, and thanks for the giveaway!

    I'd like to think that if I had to survive something like that, I'd stick to my basic code of ethics and not do something like steal or lie (I'm pretty sure I'd never murder). But other than that, I'd probably be willing to do some pretty crazy things to survive.

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  25. That's a tough question. Actually, it's one of those questions that I couldn't really answer until I was actually facing the scenario. I would likely do almost anything to survive, but you never know....

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  26. I think it is really hard to know unless you are actually in the moment. I would imagine that I would do whatever it takes to make it though.

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  27. My personal comfort would have to come second to surviving - finding food is more important than how gross it might be to achieve it, and safety more important than living the way I'm used to in my cushy Western life! Survival in general is something the human body was created to do, so I would just have to hope mine remembers how~

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  28. That is a tough one. I'd say my survival is based on the survival of my children and grandchildren. I would do what I had to do help them, after that I would worry about myself. I would fight to stick around just to help them.

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  29. It's hard to say what i'd do unless i was actually in the situation. I guess i'd look for food and water and shelter. And hope i didn't have to eat anybody :)

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  30. Such a great post! I never thought of dystopia like that, but I guess it's true. Really interesting! and now I'm so looking forward to reading The Way We Fall!

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  31. At what lengths are you willing to go to survive on a quarintined island?

    I'm not sure I can answer this question. It depends, doesn't it? What might seem abhorent to me now might not seem so bad when my life is in danger. I could only really answer this question when in the situation, which I hope never happens. However, I do hope it wouldn't be anything too awful.

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  32. Honestly...I don't think I have it in me to go too far...BUT I may surprise myself if I were ever in that type of scenerio! Let's hope I never have to find out :D

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  33. Thanks for the giveaway!

    And for the question: If it's anything like being in a concentration camp then enduring so much pain will not go down well and therefore end my life in an excruciatingly painful way unable to break free. Although if it's pain-free on this quarantine islane and orderly, sure, breaking out would be easy-peasy if you're smart and silent.

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  34. I think I'll just do what Katniss did when they were on an island on Catching Fire (only I'm alone) :)

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  35. Apocalyptic survival is always intriguing. This sounds like a great story - thanks for sharing it with us.

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  36. START A REBELLION! Keep quiet, keep low, recruit people and then BAM take them down! :P

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  37. In that situation I'm pretty sure I'd go to whatever lengths necessary. Not pretty, but it's true.

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  38. I bet I would go to some pretty far lengths to survive. It's human nature. Probably wouldn't be against killing infected people and my standard of food stuffs would probably be lowered.

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  39. hopefully I'll go far,

    see I don't know much about my own skills of surviving,

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  40. I'd probably keep to myself, maybe resort to trading with individuals as needed. Hope for the best!

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  41. There's thing about humans or take any animal, our first instinct and wish is to survive. I don't know to what limits i can go to survive but i'm sure it'll not be pretty. But i won't be alone in this, i'm sure.

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  42. hmm i'm not sure how far i'd go but i'm sure i'd probably end up doing pretty much anything to survive. it would, i'm sure, depend on what my surroundings were and how bad it got. But, i'm pretty sure if it got bad enough, i would do whatever it took to survive no matter how horrible it would seem.

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  43. Guess I'd have learn hunt to eat. And yeah, I'd do pretty much anything to survive.

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  44. Survival is instinct, so I'll do my best in order to live, despite the fact that there is no hope to survive that instinct will still kick in.

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  45. Survival of the fittest. I would do the impossible to survive

    - juhina

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  46. I should be answering the question here, but first I want to say I totally agree with Megan on the genre differences! It quite irks me when publishers and reviewers class dystopian and post-apocalyptic in the same category. With that said, I do occasionally relapse too, and I tend to call Ashes dystopian when I full well it's post-apocalyptic.

    Anyway, how would I survive? Learn to hunt first thing. Team up with someone who has basic survival skills lol

    Ana @ BookSpark

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  47. To survive, I would align myself with someone b/c I won't be able to do it alone!

    Chen Chang

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  48. do my best but I'm not going to become inhuman for it if its my time its just that!

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  49. I think I can do anything it takes to survive, but I'm sure it's not so easy to do it, specially if you have to hurt someone else.

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  50. Hmm I'd like to think that if put under pressure to survive I'd rise to the challenge :)

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  51. That's a very loaded question and obviously I would say that I wouldn't do anything which would hurt other people. But honestly as long as we aren't in such a situation you don't know. I think survival instinct is a very powerful thing!

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  52. As far is I could... the bad thing is (I don't know how far that would be haha!)

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I love getting comments from my readers and fellow bookworms, and I try my best to respond to all of them. Feel free to give me a piece of your thoughts. Also, this is an award-free blog. I simply don't have the time to highlight them anymore, but thank you for thinking of my blog!

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