Looking for the Next Hunger Games?

Suzanne Collins’ trilogy The Hunger Games has taken America by storm.  There’s already entire tables at Barnes and Noble of additional fan fiction and literary reviews of her works.  I’d say she’s achieved mass success.  The first book even premieres in theaters this month!  Excited?  You should be!  It’s going to be awesome!

But for those of us who’ve finished reading the series and lost sleep because we had to find out what became of Katniss, fear not!  I’ve got a great suggestion for you.  Pick up a copy of Bethany Wiggins’ new book, Shifting, released this past September and already a 4.1 rating on goodreads! (That’s really good, in case you didn’t know.)

(photo courtesy Bethany's blog: http://www.suzettesaxton.blogspot.com)

Some of you may remember I interviewed Bethany back in September right before her book was released.  I’ve recently finished reading it and you should know, it’s AMAZING!

Here’s the Goodreads blurb:

After bouncing from foster home to foster home, Magdalene Mae is transferred to what should be her last foster home in the tiny town of Silver City, New Mexico. Now that she’s eighteen and has only a year left in high school, she’s determined to stay out of trouble and just be normal.

Agreeing to go to the prom with Bridger O’Connell is a good first step. Fitting in has never been her strong suit, but it’s not for the reasons most people would expect-it all has to do with the deep secret that she is a shape shifter. But even in her new home danger lurks, waiting in the shadows to pounce. They are the Skinwalkers of Navajo legend, who have traded their souls to become the animal whose skin they wear-and Maggie is their next target.

Full of romance, mysticism, and intrigue, this dark take on Navajo legend will haunt readers to the final page.

Intrigued?  It’s well worth the page turning.  Wiggins’ writing is well paced and similar to Collins, you won’t be able to finish a chapter without wondering what happens next?!  And it’s just my opinion, but I find her writing much better than that of Twilight’s Stephenie Meyer.  And I loved that series too, but I think we all can agree it wasn’t exceptionally written, it was just that good of a story!  For a first time author, Wiggins shows great promise and the only disappointment I have is that she’s not currently working on Maggie Mae’s sequel.

Bethany Wiggins

But paranormal YA books are so overdone, you say?  To that I reply, can you tell me what a skinwalker is?  Didn’t think so!  Based on Navajo legend, a skinwalker is an evil spirit or witch that takes the form of the animal it kills.  Their goal is power and they are exceedingly conniving.  Think of your history books, most Native American tribes only wore animal headresses in ceremony, so that their powers would not overwhelm them.  The stories of skinwalkers are difficult to find, as people believed talking about them brought their evil near.  But Bethany, being totally consumed with research on this topic, shared with me some sites that gave examples of these witches, including actual court cases recorded!  You can see these tales at the end of my interview post by clicking the above blue link.

Other things to love?  Let’s start with our protagonist, Maggie Mae.  She’s not the accident prone, yet hot new commodity at school like Bella Swan.  She’s not a trained hunter or altruistic sister like Katniss Everdeen.  She’s a foster child, tossed from home to home after a record breaking number of case files for indecent exposure.  An unlikely heroine, to be sure.  And yet, there’s a devout need to do good in Maggie Mae.  She is kind and she is grateful, though life hasn’t exactly raised her that way.

And of course, there’s a boy.  Sorry girls, no love triangle here, but Bridger O’Connell will keep you guessing anyway.  Why is he always leaving Maggie when trouble arises?  How does he know when to return?  What’s the deal with his on and off again caring tactics?  Gosh, boys are stupid!

If it’s adventure you’re looking for, go no further than Bethany Wiggins’ Shifting.  It’s a fast, entertaining read with as much action as there are awkward teenage moments.

To learn more about Bethany, check out the blog she and her sister write, Shooting Stars, which focuses on writing teen fiction.  Or you can follow her on twitter via @wiggB.

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7 responses

  1. You do such great reviews, Jess! I have the first Hunger Games in my TBR pile on Kindle. This book, Shifting, is a genre I’m not crazy about, but the story line sounds interesting. I’ll suggest it to my daughter. I wish the best for the author and hope it’s a huge success!
    Love your reviews, no matter what kind of book!

    1. Thanks Marcia! I like doing the research for them and this one was particularly fun since Bethany had done an interview with me previously. She was a wonderful woman sharing some insight on this legend with me; I don’t know how she does it all with her family, a household to keep, and writing. Guess it’s like her twitter profile says: Mom by day, writer by night.

      Hope your daughter likes the books! If she does, you should let her blog about it at your place! 😉

  2. […] Books: Jess Witkins reviews Shifting by Bethany Wiggins. […]

  3. […] now, Jess Witkins has got me for the next Hunger Games in Bethany Wiggins’s YA Paranormal novel, […]

  4. Great post! I will definitely check out Shifting as I thoroughly enjoyed The Hunger Games. Another really good dystopian novel,,,, Divergent. Check it out!

    1. It’s really cool how Bethany fused the Navajo legend with this paranormal YA book. I think you’ll love it. It’s a good one for wondering which characters are good and which are bad.

  5. […] that same number by the end of March.  My upscale in reading led to two author interviews for Shifting by Bethany Wiggins and The Doctor’s Lady by Jody Hedlund!  It was an absolute treat to get to chat with these […]

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