Contest – Win FREE BOOKS!

6 Oct


Exciting times! My very first Lunch with Mary contest. My most recent lunch guest Lynne Missen, publishing director, Penguin Canada, has generously sent me a selection of young adult novels and I am giving them away! Two of these books are Advance Reader’s Copies meaning they aren’t yet available in stores. Here is a quick overview of the books:

Playground by 50 Cent – Inspired by 50 Cent’s own adolescence, Playground is a hard-hitting and inspirational story of the redemption of a bully. Advance copy, it will be available in stores in November 2011. Young adult novel BY 50 CENT! Need I say more?

The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler – It’s 1996, and less than half of all American high school students have ever used the Internet. Emma just got her first computer and an American Online CD-ROM. Josh is her best friend. They power up and log on – and discover themselves on Facebook, fifteen years in the future. This book is also an advance copy and will be available in stores in November 2011.

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher – Clay Jensen doesn’t want anything to do with the tapes Hannah Baker made. Hannah is dead. Her secrets should be buried with her. Then Hannah’s voice tells Clay that his name is on her tapes – and that he is, in some way, responsible for her death.

Across the Universe by Beth Revis – Amy is a cryogenically frozen passenger aboard the spaceship Godspeed. She has left her boyfriend, friends – and planet – behind to join her parents as a member of Project Ark Ship. Amy and her parents believe they will wake up on a new planet, Centauri-Earth, three hundred years in the future. But fifty years before Godspeed’s scheduled landing, cryo chamber 42 is mysteriously unplugged and Amy is violently woken from her frozen slumber. Someone tried to murder her. Now, Amy is caught inside a tiny world where nothing makes sense.

How to enter
Please leave a comment on this post saying which book you’re most excited to read. Contest closes Friday, October 28th at 11:59 p.m. A winner will then be selected using an online random number generator. Contest open to Canadian residents only. One entry per person.

17 Responses to “Contest – Win FREE BOOKS!”

  1. thehomeslice October 6, 2011 at 7:19 pm #

    The Future of Us would be my pick. Being thrown into the world of FB without ever surfing the web = lots of teen drama.

  2. michelle October 6, 2011 at 7:51 pm #

    I would lovelovelove to read Thirteen Reasons Why. It sounds awesome.

  3. Natasha October 6, 2011 at 7:59 pm #

    Thirteen Reasons Why. Playground would be a very close second.

  4. Corey Fischer (@bowserings) October 6, 2011 at 9:32 pm #

    As a child, I was big into space. I read Isaac Asimov books, learned about our solar system, built a replica using styrafoam balls and hung it from my ceiling, and read every book on the cosmos in my school’s library. At UBC, Astronomy classes were my 2nd highest marks (behind Film, of course). “Across the Universe” sounds like a very interesting read, kind of reminds me of Ripley in “Aliens.” I would definitely appreciate getting my hands on the book. Thanks, and congrats on the blog’s success!

  5. Elaine October 7, 2011 at 8:31 am #

    A whodunnit in space? Love it! Frankly, all the books seem to have a great hook (I guess that’s why Lynne has the job she does…) Good luck to me!

  6. Shannon Mitchell October 7, 2011 at 8:36 am #

    You’ve made me want to read all of them Mary, but mostly The Future of Us! Contests! Exciting!

  7. Sommer October 7, 2011 at 9:33 am #

    Definitely “The Future of Us” – I can’t remember a time without good ol’ Fbook so I’m intrigued to see how this one plays out. Oh Zuckerburg what have you done, you’ve now taken over teen lit too?!?

  8. Matt October 7, 2011 at 1:28 pm #

    I would love to read “Playground” mainly because I think 50 Cent is a good role model. I really like what he’s done with Vitamin Water & as Money Mayweather’s best friend. Go shawty.

  9. Shauna October 10, 2011 at 1:49 pm #

    How did you enjoy Playground, Mary? Sign me up for this contest, lovely lady! I already read Thirteen Reasons Why, which was heartbreaking. I’ve got both The Future of Us and Across the Universe on my list of books that I’m dying to read.

  10. Alanna October 11, 2011 at 7:11 pm #

    Across the Universe! I love weird sci-fi…

  11. Carol Wong October 15, 2011 at 2:48 pm #

    I would like to read “Thirteen Reasons Why”.


  12. Davina Ramnarine October 18, 2011 at 5:12 pm #

    Hi Mary,

    Thanks for sharing the literary wealth! I would love to read ‘Across the Universe’ by Beth Revis. I came across this quote from the novel a few months ago, and added the book to my reading list as a result: “This is the secret of the stars, I tell myself. In the end, we are alone. No matter how close you seem, no one else can touch you.” It’s rather melancholy, but it’s also thoughtful and beautiful. I’ve largely ignored the sci-fi genre, but I’d like to give it a shot.



  13. Miranda Gulland (@Mirandagulland) October 29, 2011 at 7:34 am #

    Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher looks like a good read. Love the blog and love the competition, Mary! Miranda

  14. Lunch with Mary November 6, 2011 at 4:20 pm #

    Using the website, the random number 4 was generated. That makes Corey Fisher the winner of this contest. Thanks for entering.

  15. Corey Fischer (@bowserings) January 5, 2012 at 4:38 am #

    Thanks for the books, Mary! I’ve decided to post my thoughts about each book upon completion.
    The first book I finished is ‘The Future of Us.’
    To summarize, the year is 1996 and lifelong friends and neighbours Emma and Josh magically log into their future Facebook accounts to discover information about themselves; 15 years before it happens. Over the course of a week, they struggle with defining the outcomes of their lives, while struggling with present-day relationships. Josh inconceivably winds up with the prettiest girl in school, while Emma’s future Facebook posts indicate that she is unhappy. Emma attempts to sabotage her own life by making personal choices to avoid her unhappiness; however, no matter what she tries, she still stays unhappy in 2011. Meanwhile, Josh is content with his future, but has to keep Emma from destroying his (and her) life. Neatly coinciding with this internet phenomenon are the adolescent hormones between two friends who aren’t sure about their own relationship, and how they feel about one another.

    ‘The Future of Us’ is clearly a book aimed at teens, especially ones who live and die by Facebook. While I was an early subscriber to the website, (May 2006, back when you needed a post-secondary email address to sign on) it has never ruled my life, or influenced my actions. For today’s teenager, I imagine that the insight into people’s lives and relationships is continually on one’s mind; much like how Emma’s actions would ripple her own timeline. ‘The Future of Us’ is a neat idea, and who among us wouldn’t want to check out our Facebook profiles 15 years into the future? Aside from the imaginative premise, however, little regard was given to explaining why these kids had access to the future internet, and there was never any danger in their secret being discovered.

    The book was very easy to get through by use of short chapters, alternating the point-of-view between the two lead characters, Emma and Josh. I’ve never read anything which jumped back and forth between character perspectives before, which was a nice change. However, this advanced reader’s copy did not inspire many ‘what-happens-next’ thoughts, and the ending was very predictable.

    If you’re an adult, skip this one and leave it for the teens; while you may identify with the Facebook element, let the teenagers be the ones to Like it.

    -Corey Fischer

  16. Corey Fischer (@bowserings) January 29, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

    Across the Universe

    A space-aged whodunit, Across the Universe tells the story of a boy, Elder, learning to become the successor of the leader of an interstellar spaceship, and a girl, Amy, accidentally unfrozen from her cryogenic sleep.

    The spaceship Godspeed is on a centuries-long voyage to an Earth-like planet, dubbed Centauri-Earth. Her passengers exist in a peaceful Utopia, living their lives in a structured environment, unquestioning the faux reality around them.

    The path of the characters in this novel, especially Elder, detour the day that Amy awakes from her frozen state. Her perspective, though hundreds of years-old, gives way to new thoughts and revelations in Elder, who begins to question the authority. The two rely on each other to get to bottom of who is responsible for her unplugging, as well as a series of murder and attempted cryo-murders.

    I was surprised to find that this novel adopts the split perspective technique, alternating between the two primary characters as each chapter begins. The previous book I read as part of this giveaway, Future of Us, also used this format. Having never read a novel written in this fashion, it is very strange that I have now read 2 in a row utilizing this style.

    While I found it difficult to identify with either character directly, one being a teenage girl who left a life on Earth behind, the other a teenage boy being groomed to lead a small pocket of humanity, I did find it easy to imagine their circumstances. I have an understanding of cryogenics (being a fan of Futurama, and Red Sox great Ted Williams) and space travel (Star Trek), and given the nature of man and the power that can be grasped, Across the Universe was a fairly interesting read.

    Imagining an entire world within the confines of a ship, along with rules and reasons, has to be a difficult task when writing a book. The author Beth Revis did a wonderful job of painting a mental picture of this lifeboat in the stars. A great deal of suspense exists within the pages of Across the Universe, enough to keep the sci-fi reader wanting to find out what happens next. It is not as much of a love story as advertised, given the book jacket, however that was quickly resolved by reversing it, yielding a blueprint of Godspeed.

    Across the Universe may not be a re-read for my book shelf, but I am generally happy with the amount of imagination I expelled in building this world. I would recommend this book to a late teen who is interested in science fiction.

  17. Bowsering March 8, 2012 at 4:05 am #

    I have a confession: I gave up on reading 50 Cent’s ‘Playground.’
    I gave it a good go of it, however. I managed through 100 pages, though I should note that the typeface is large and the pages are small.
    The language is simple and only descriptive in small quantities, not enough to keep me engaged through the novel’s entirety.

    At the end of the day (literally as well, since I mostly read in bed), ‘Playgound’ is not for the active reader, but more for the troubled youth who otherwise might feel indifferent about reading. Besides, I retired my teen bling long ago…

    In lieu of ‘Playground,’ I read the biography of Steve Jobs. If you’d like to read my thoughts on that, just click my username.

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