From Imagination To Publication

Thursday, October 8, 2015

R&R Challenge Review #1 - SOME FINE DAY by Kat Ross

**My Review Style Disclaimer (very official, I know...)
I do not do a 1-5 star rating system with my reviews. Honestly, whether a book is "good" or not completely depends on the reader. A book that I rate 5-stars may end up being a 2-star book for you and vice versa. So really, what's the point of that anyway? In the end, I feel like ratings end up hurting people's feelings, so my reviews will just be my reaction to the book after reading it...

What a great start to the Read & Review Challenge, and I mean a REALLY great start. I'm not the best at recaps...I kind of figure the author went through the trouble of summarizing the book the best he or she can with the back cover blurb, so why try and re-word it? That being said, here is what the book is about:

A generation ago, continent-sized storms called hypercanes caused the Earth to flood. The survivors were forced to retreat deep underground and build a new society.

This is the story that sixteen-year-old Jansin Nordqvist has heard all of her life.

Jansin grew up in a civilization far below the Earth’s surface. She’s spent the last eight years in military intelligence training. So when her parents surprise her with a coveted yet treacherous trip above ground, she’s prepared for anything. She’s especially thrilled to feel the fresh air, see the sun, and view the wide-open skies and the ocean for herself.

But when raiders attack Jansin’s camp and take her prisoner, she is forced to question everything she’s been taught. What do her captors want? How will she get back underground? And if she ever does, will she want to stay after learning the truth?

My Review

First of all, this book needs more recognition than it's getting. It NEEDS to be a movie. I was literally absorbed throughout the entire book. I lived and breathed the story. I mean, I was IN DEEP! Sometimes a little too deep...I even felt like a bad mommy..."hush kids, I need to just read this real quick..." ;)

It was THE BEST novel I've read in a very very long time. I'd even say one of the best YAs I've EVER read. I mean, better than Divergent...we're talking Hunger Games status. I don't even think with Hunger Games I was this compelled to read the last line of the book in a desperate attempt to settle my anxiety over what was going to happen.

I just loved how well thought out it was, how utterly believable and intriguing the storyline was. It was unlike any YA I've read. One reviewer commented on Goodreads, "A YA book with a parent who actually understands and is competent? You don't see that every day."  I couldn't agree more, and there are so many elements about this book that stray from the typical YA formula. I just loved how things didn't play out exactly as I thought they would. I was constantly surprised, yet not disappointed if that makes sense. 

THANK YOU, Kat Ross!! SO refreshing to enjoy a book that way again. It has been a while since a novel has consumed me to the point of obsession. Big congrats.

Let me know when the producers come banging down your door ;)

An Interview with author Kat Ross

This is one I like to ask every author. What is your publishing story? How did Some Fine Day find its way to SkyScape? 

That one is pretty crazy, actually. It was every debut author's worst nightmare. My first publisher, Strange Chemistry, abruptly folded one month before my release date. But my agent rescued the manuscript and sold it again – to Skyscape. They've been wonderful, so it had a happy ending! I always think about how close this book came to never making it onto shelves at all.

Do you have a thing for weather? What drew you to the topic of Hypercanes?

I kind of stumbled over them by accident after I decided I wanted to write a story in a world with an extreme climate change scenario. My other hat is as a journalist, and I covered the scientific reports and U.N. negotiations for many years. What's already happening is pretty scary, but the future predictions struck me as pure dystopia. Then I read about the work of Kerry Emanuel at MIT on hypercanes (which are still theoretical, thank god) and Some Fine Day was born…

Did your story play out exactly how you planned it would or did it change while you were writing?

I used to be a really rigid plotter, and I've definitely loosened up some since that book. I still outline. A lot. But I've learned that you just don't know your characters well enough before you start actually writing them to know exactly what they're going to do. Minor ones can become major ones, and vice versa. One of my favorite sections of Some Fine Day (the big final exam at the special ops Academy, which I slaved over) got chopped by my editor, and it was the right thing to do, but I've learned that what you start out with is rarely what you end up with.

Is anyone in your story based on anyone you know *cough* Will *cough*?

Oh, there's a lot of my husband in there. Will's gift for funny voices and impressions, for example. But there's a lot of him in Jansin too. He teaches krav maga and pretty much choreographed all my fight scenes, which was great because I really wanted them to be both exciting and technical. And I am clueless about that kind of stuff.

We're dying for a visual...any actors in mind to play Jansin or Will in the movie that must be made?

Oh boy. Why is this hardest question? For Will, I'd like to see a Josh Hutcherson type, although he's probably too old now! Someone who's adorable but looks like a real human being, not a catalogue model. And Jansin is mixed, Chinese mom and Anglo dad, so someone along the lines of Xu Qing, with her awesome butch haircut.

The story is very well thought out and must have taken a lot of research. How long did it take you to nail down the technical details and was it fun or tedious for you?

Luckily, I enjoy research. It gives me an excuse to Google things instead of having to write! There was a lot of world building in this one, because I had to figure out how a self-contained underground society would function, both logistically and politically. Raven Rock is a lot like a high-tech version of Sparta. Then I had to figure out where the air came from, the food, the water, and make it believable. I think the more fantastic your world is, the more you have to be meticulous about the details. Internal logic is everything.

For those who are wondering, will there be a sequel?

I actually do have more than half of one written, but other projects have got in the way lately. I hope to finish it eventually!

What else are you writing?

The book I have out right now on submission is very different – a murder mystery set in 1888 New York. It's YA, and I did a ton of research, but I also tried to keep it fun and with plenty of action. I think of it as Sherlock Holmes meets the X-Files, with a dash of Scooby Doo.

I'm trying to find a way to word this without making it a spoiler...there is a moment at the end. Toad or human?

One word: Human!

Want to know more about Kat and her books?

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