Friday, August 12, 2011

Review #16 and Guest Post(1): Arson by Estevan Vega

Book Details:
  • Genre: supernatural/YA/coming-of-age
  • Publisher: StoneGate Ink
  • Publication Date: May 2011

Book Synopsis:
Arson Gable feels like a freak. He can create fire. He never asked for it. He never wanted it. But he can't shut it off.

Before now, three things were true: he both loved and despised his grandmother; his life was going nowhere; and he was alone. But when a strange girl--who feels more normal behind a mask than inside her own skin--moves in next door, Arson hopes to find something he's never had: purpose. Using what he fears most about himself, Arson must face his consuming past and confront the nightmare that is his present as he walks the fine line between boy and monster. Dark, moody, and breathtakingly relevant, Arson, the chilling chronicle of an isolated boy with unimaginable ability, is sure to ignite the hearts and minds of a new generation.

My Thoughts/Review:
I am so glad I took the time to read this book. The first thing that caught my eye was the cover of this book. It is a beautifully awesome cover. Then the book synopsis got me hooked even more. It intrigued me so much and I am so glad that it did. I loved the characters and the story telling. Estevan Vega is a really good writer. Emery was such a great character even though she wears a mask on her face. I found her funny, witty and feisty even though she carries such a burden about her face and has to hide behind a mask. Arson was also a really good character even though he has a lot of guilt about his past. Arson can create fire with his mind and it causes a lot of conflict in his life. These traits that they both have, make them feel like freaks, and that is why they are so relatable. Everyone at some point or another feels like a freak in there lifetime. I loved the intimate struggles of the main characters. They were both dealing with so much different types of crap in there lives, that they shouldn't of had to deal with. It made both Arson and Emery so much more than just flat characters. They both exploded off the page. 
This book has some supernatural and romantic elements in it. I loved how there friendship turned into something more. And how there relationship evolved and they fell in love. The secondary characters are the characters that were causing all the problems in Arson and Emery's lives. I'm not going to go into to much detail about them. But they all really made me not like them, in a good way of course, which shows a sign of great writing skills. You will know what I am talking about if you read the book. 
Overall I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars.
It is that good. It is one of my favorite reads that I have read in 2011 so far. I definitely suggest reading this book for anyone who loves any type of genre. I can not wait to read Ashes, the sequel to Arson. Definitely go pick up this book. =]

***Disclaimer: In concordance with the FTC, this ebook was provided for review by the author for Partners in Crime Tours and then given to me free for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own and I was not paid or influenced in any way. =]

 Now to the eagerly awaited Guest Post.

By Estevan Vega, author of ARSON, ASHES, and the upcoming Sacred Sin

My name is Estevan Vega, and I’ve been writing since I was forced to in fifth grade. I got into it because my dad helped me pump out a mean, creepy story for my English teacher, who required us to turn in a one-page short story/essay every day, and I actually got an A+ for it. Stories followed that year, and mine were often selected to be read. By the end of the year, I said, screw it…I’m writing a freakin’ book. This leads to my second introduction. My name is Estevan Vega. I’ve been writing since I was forced to in fifth grade, I’m much younger than your other favorite author, and I write thrillers. Well, not exactly. Well, sorta. Um…I write thrillers, dramas encapsulating the stains hidden within the human condition, and stories that often blend the natural and the supernatural. That’s right, no boxes here.

“Well, why do you write that?” I’ve gotten this question a few times, either from friends or acquaintances, or from people who’ve approached me at book signings. What generally follows is a blanket statement by said convinced human about how my book is not “their kind of read.” And of course, my personal favorite: “This isn’t at all like Danielle Steel, is it?” Seriously, I got that one time. To answer the Danielle Steel question, no, it probably isn’t, but then again, I’m just relying on pure speculation, instinct, and rumors.

If anyone’s read my books, then it becomes very clear very quickly that I try to blend several concepts and genres together when I write. It’s intentional. I know there’s a little dysfunction in everyone’s family; I know that we all at one point or another wish we could be the hero and the villain; I know that, like it or not, there is a little bit of a romantic in all of us…okay, most of us, but still. So, if that’s the case, why do we stick to such conventionality when we write our books, or why do we stick to specific genres, guidelines, and labels when we select titles as readers? If the story is good enough, and if it can capture you, regardless of format or style (Amish romance novels excluded, obviously), then you should give it a shot. The brave ones reach for my book, and nine times out of ten, they are impressed and come back for more.

Now, that might sound egotistical, but I assure you it’s not. What I am trying to say is that your tastes might be inclined to enjoy a hybrid sort of book, like ARSON, one that doesn’t neatly fit inside the cracks and conventions the industry and your mind have created. The reason ARSON has gotten the great reviews and such, I believe, is because it caters to several different crowds and appetites. Of course, there is a target market, but when a title comes along that can bend the rules, enticing a strict Nicholas Sparks reader and a strict Stephen King reader simultaneously, then it’s safe to say gold doth be struck! The simple fact remains that often times people don’t know that they like something until they give it a shot.
So, do I write thrillers? Yes. Do I write sci-fi/supernatural stuff that occasionally dives into something a bit creepy? Yes. Do I write coming-of-age dramas with the middle name-dysfunctional? Most definitely. Labels…who needs ’em? My musical tastes have changed over the years. And my taste in movies has evolved. My writing style is no different. Will I stick to this format every time I sit down to write? Probably not, but it’s a great place to start. So to all the readers out there, reach for a book that might freak you out or one that might make you feel all tingly inside. It’s okay. Writers: Don’t be afraid to push the genre boundaries a bit, and don’t fear the fact that your book finds a home somewhere between YA and adult and thriller and sci-fi. Like I said, they’re just labels.
-E. Vega 
-Thank you so much for an awesome book Estevan and the even more awesome Guest Post
More about Estevan below.

Author Bio:
Estevan Vega published his first book when he was fifteen, and his second followed shortly after. His fascination for the supernatural ignited a desire to write his third and most praised work to date, Arson. For those just joining, Ashes continues the turbulent story. Vega currently resides in Connecticut, where he is feverishly plotting the next chapter in the series. Get stoked.

Connect With Estevan:
-Thanks to Partners in Crime Tours for letting me be apart of the tour.
***Make sure to visit these other awesome stops on the tour. The ones that are out right now are definitely a must read if you are interested in this book. So definitely check them out.***

Tour Participants:
August 3-Guest Post@Tributes Books Reviews
August 4-Guest Post@The Top Shelf
August 5-Review@Gelati's Scoop
August 8-Interview@Beyond The Books
August 9-Guest Post@The Calico Critic
August 10-Review@The Top Shelf
August 11-Guest Post@Stuff & Nonsense
August 12-Review&Guest Post@The Bookshelf
August 15-Review@Oodles Of Books
August 16-Guest Post@The Book Faery Reviews
August 16-Review@A Good Day To Read
August 17-Guest Post@Terri Forehand
August 18-Review@Coffee and a Keyboard
August 19-Spotlight@Suspense By Anne
August 23-Review@Hypnotically Entranced
August 24-Interview@Book Marketing Buzz
August 26-Interview@Coffee and a Keyboard

Till next time,

Happy Reading

-Michael/Bookshelf Reviewer

Guest Post:

Just Labels


  1. Interesting guest post Estevan.
    I do have my preferred genres that I tend to stick to but I never understand that "I don't read - insert genre" mentality.
    Even if you've read one horror/paranormal/Amish romance :-) and you didn't like it, that doesn't mean the next book you pick up from that genre won't end up being one of your all time favorites.
    A story written from the heart is always better than a formulaic one.

  2. Thanks, Karen, I'm glad you appreciated the post. I agree. One size doesn't always fit all. Spread the fire...ASHES coming very, very soon.