MMGMLike everyone else who participates in MMGM, I anxiously awaited the release of MMGM founder Shannon Messenger’s debut novel, KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES. I’m thrilled to say that it met all of my expectations and then some. And because I want to give back to Shannon the way she gives back to all of us through MMGM, regular giveaways, and WriteOnCon, I’m going to do my first giveaway ever this week. The details are at the bottom of this post, so read on!

Twelve-year-old Sophie Foster has a secret. She’s a Telepath–someone who hears the thoughts of everyone around her. It’s a talent she’s never known how to explain.

Everything changes the day she meets Fitz, a mysterious boy who appears out of nowhere and also reads minds. She discovers there’s somewhere she does belong, and that staying with her family will put her in grave danger. In the blink of an eye, Sophie is forced to leave behind everything and start a new life in a place that is vastly different from anything she has ever known.

Sophie has new rules to learn and new skills to master, and not everyone is thrilled that she has come “home.” There are secrets buried deep in Sophie’s memory–secrets about who she really is and why she was hidden among humans–that other people desperately want. Would even kill for.

Here are the five things I loved most about this book:

1. The descriptions – I’ve said before that I’m a sucker for a good metaphor or simile, and Shannon Messenger is a master of description. I’ve pulled one example that stood out enough I stopped reading to go insert it into this post so I wouldn’t have to search for it later.

“The whirlpool formed a tunnel of air, dipping and weaving through the dark water like the craziest waterslide ever. She was actually starting to enjoy the ride when she launched out of the vortex onto an enormous sponge. It felt like being licked from head to toe by a pack of kittens–minus the kitten breath–and then the sponge sprang back, leaving her standing on a giant cushion.”

It’s the kitten thing. I just loved it.

2. Sophie’s strength – I really admired Sophie as a character. Sophie deals with some real temptation thanks to her telepathic ability, and while she doesn’t always succeed, she makes it right when she doesn’t. She stays strong in resisting temptation, even when it’s really hard, and that made her character in my book. Here’s an example, although I’ve omitted one word to avoid a spoiler.

“Alden closed his eyes. Listening to Grady’s thoughts? Transmitting another plea? Not since the xxxxx incident had Sophie been so tempted to violate the ethics of telepathy and find out what was going on. But if Alden somehow caught her, Bronte could use it to have her exiled.

Would he catch her?

She could probably sneak in without him knowing, but what would she do with the information? If she said or did anything about it, he’d know how she found out.

It wasn’t worth the risk.”

3. The layers – Sophie’s been thrown into an entirely new world, so there are many things for her to figure out. Fitting into a new school. Making friends. Worrying about the fires in the human world. Figuring out where she came from and why she’s so different. And if that isn’t enough, she can’t even trust her own mind. I enjoyed the way Shannon Messenger brought these layers together in the end without resolving everything. It left me satisfied for now but wanting more later.

4. Keefe – If this is going to be one of those series where you pick a team, then I’m definitely Team Keefe. Just thought I should put that out there now. I know she likes Fitz, but there’s something to be said for the boy who keeps her off-balance and believes in her through everything. Even her best friend Dex doesn’t live up to that standard at one point. Plus, Keefe has some family issues going on that I bet are going to come up in one of the future books. It should make things quite interesting. Note: In case this point makes you wonder if the book is more YA, that’s not the case at all. We’re talking about first crushes and tingly feelings and blushing, nothing more.

5. It made me tear up – As my husband would tell anyone, it takes a lot to make me cry. I rarely do it in real life, but sometimes a book or movie will really get to me. There was a scene with Sophie’s host family that made me tear up, and for me, that takes this book to the next level. I have to really identify with the character for that to happen, and Sophie earned the tears. She may be special, but her life isn’t perfect by any means. She has to figure out how to live with her new reality, and I expect there will be more emotional trials to come in the rest of the series.

So, the contest! I’m giving away a signed copy of KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES*. To enter, leave a comment on this post by noon Central Time this Friday, Nov. 2. I’ll announce the winner on next week’s MMGM post.

For querying writers, Shannon Messenger is represented by Laura Rennert at Andrea Brown Literary Agency.

*I’ve had a few questions about whether the contest is international. I hadn’t considered that, so here’s what we’ll do. I’m going to have the book shipped directly from the store where Shannon signed. If the winner is in another country and this shop doesn’t ship internationally, we may have to work something else out (like an unsigned copy from a store in your country if available), but I’m not going to exclude anyone.


About Michelle I. Mason

I'm a full-time writer, focusing mainly on middle grade and young adult fiction with some freelance PR writing and editing on the side. I'm also a wife, mom, Christian, violinist, avid reader and St. Louis Cardinals fan. And I watch way too much TV.
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32 Responses to MMGM: KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES with a giveaway!

  1. Kristin Lenz says:

    I’m looking forward to sharing Keeper with my daughter. Thanks for the giveaway!

  2. Nithya says:

    Shannon’s books never fail to be anything short of perfection!
    I’m definitely looking forward to getting my hands on this:)

  3. You just made me want to read Shannon’s book even more then I already did. I sounds so good and I have heard nothing but good things about it so far. So happy that you loved it as much as you did!

    Thanks so much for the chance to win.

    Orchid @ The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia

  4. I love Shannon! She is so awesome!!! I stalk her blog constantly, if only to get a peek inside her brain. I’m anxious to read her YA book Let the Sky Fall, since I’m a young adult. But I love reading MG books and Keeper looks amazing! The last MG sreies I read was the Fablehaven one by Brandon Mull and Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians one (is that still considered MG? The spinoff series is YA I believe).

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  5. Akoss says:

    This book is high on my tbr pile. I met the author at her book launch and it was amazing. 🙂
    I already own a copy so don’t count me in the giveaway.

  6. Rosi says:

    Shannon is amazing, so I suspect her book is amazing as well. Thanks for running the giveaway.

  7. I can’t wait to get my hands on this book! 🙂 I’ve previewed the first couple of pages and I’m already sucked in. BTW, my hubby and I went to St. Louis for our anniversary this past week, and had a blast! Hope you’re doing well. 🙂

  8. I can’t wait to read this book. It is so imaginative and complex that I am certain I will love it. Thank you for the giveaway and wonderful review! I am even more excited to read it now.

  9. What a great review! The cover is beautiful and the description is eve better. Sophie sounds like a wonderful character and the plot sounds intriguing. I definitely want to read this one and I would love to share it with my 5th grade students when I am done. 🙂 Thanks for the giveaway!

    On a side note- I went to St. Louis two years ago and had a great time. My husband and I went up The Arch! I liked it and he didn’t (too much swaying for him). What a nice city!

  10. Deb Marshall says:

    Most excellent review. Really looking forward to reading this, oh yes I am!

  11. Julie DeGuia says:

    Great reveiw – love how you added a few excerpts. And so nice of you to give away your signed copy. I think this is one my son would love… thanks for the opportunity to win!

  12. deadtossedwaves says:

    Shannon is such a sweetheart!! I’ve been wanting to read this book for months. The reviews have been absolutely stellar. Sounds so magical!!

  13. Taffy says:

    I’d like to read Shannon’s book. And have my MG readers read it as well. Thanks for the review and giveaway!

  14. aliasgirl says:

    Shannon is one of the funniest authors around and she is so incredibly kind! I loved the review! I haven’t read the book, yet, but I want it soooo much! I’m international, so I guess the giveaway is not for me, but I’m glad to see some Shannon love around the blogs!

    • I hadn’t thought about international. I’m having it sent directly from the bookstore where Shannon signed. However, if they won’t ship internationally, and you win, we can work something out.

  15. Lea says:

    Thanks for the review and giveaway! (You (and Shannon) had me at “the kitten thing”.) I’d love to read KEEPER!

  16. Mariska says:

    Is it international ? if yes..please i would really want to read this 🙂

    • I hadn’t thought about international. I’m having it sent directly from the bookstore where Shannon signed. However, if they won’t ship internationally, and you win, we can work something out.

  17. Cathe Olson says:

    Just from following Shannon’s blog, I know this is going to be a great book. I can’t wait to read it.

  18. aewelch says:

    Sounds like a great book! I’d totally love to read it. Thanks for posting such a great review 🙂

  19. elena says:

    This is such a fantastic review and I would love to read this book! I’m also super excited for her YA debut, Let the Sky Fall!

  20. Ooh, count me in! Thanks for the giveaway, Michelle!

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