Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Blog Tour/Review: What is Hidden by Lauren Skidmore

Tour Schedule

What is Hidden, by Lauren Skidmore
2014, 256p, Clean YA Fantasy
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: Received copy from publisher for an honest review

In a land of masquerades and mystery, Evie is a mask maker in Venesia, where masks represent rank and identity. When a cryptic bandit strips away Evie’s mask and destroys her home, she goes into hiding at the palace to find both a new identity—and revenge. Fantasy lovers will be caught up by the mystique, romance, and magic of What Is Hidden.

First of all, I absolutely LOVE the cover!! I don't actively seek out fairy tale retellings but I enjoy reading them when they come along and I loved this one! 

Evie has it rough at the beginning of the book and she's not sure where to go or who to trust. She decides to go to the palace to hide until she can figure things out. She sneaks in and starts working in the kitchen. It wasn't easy and she definitely had her Cinderella moments.

She has a friend, Aiden, who used to just appear and hang out with her, but any time the conversation turned to him, he quickly changed the subject and avoided talking about himself. He found her at the palace and they spent time together when she was done working. It wasn't too difficult for me, as the reader, to figure out who he was, but it took Evie quite a while. I loved the scenes where they were together and enjoyed watching their relationship grow.

The story really sped up for me toward the end as quite a bit happened: there was lots of action, secrets were revealed (one of them being the identity of the villain, the Chameleon), and we learned the status of their relationship. I couldn't put it down and wasn't ready for it to end when it did. I have questions and there are loose ends to tie up! This is a great debut novel and I'm looking forward to reading more of Ms. Skidmore's books in the future!

I'm excited because I got to ask Lauren some questions, and again, the one I was most interested in hearing the answer to was, is there more? Read on to find out!

1. When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I got my start writing way back in 7th grade doing fanfiction for fun, and after a while, I wanted to try writing about my own characters instead of someone else’s. So I put what I’d learned about writing to the test and got to work on original stories. But since fanfiction is kind of looked down upon by a lot of people, I didn’t really consider myself a writer until I worked on original stuff, even though I’d written several novel-length stories already. Lately I feel like fanfiction has become more acceptable, which I think is great for young writers.

2. What inspired you to write What is Hidden?
I love Venetian masks and I wanted to write about a world where people wore them all the time. I also love fairy tale retellings, and Cinderella just fit perfectly. So I blended the two together and What is Hidden was born.

3. How did you come up with the title?
I went through a few titles before settling on this one, and I chose it because so many characters are hiding something, and the things that are hidden are what really drive the story.

4. Is What is Hidden a stand alone book or part of a series?
It's part of a series.

5. If part of a series, how many books are you planning to write and when is the next one scheduled to be released?
Right now I'm planning for three, and if all goes well, the next one should be out toward the end of next year.

6. What project are you working on now?
In addition to the next book after What is Hidden, I'm working on a stand alone YA contemporary that will hopefully also be out next year.

7. What are some of your favorite books and what book are you reading now?
My most recent favorites have been the Shadow and Bone books by Leigh Bardugo and the Daughter of Smoke and Bone books by Laini Taylor, and of course the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. I also loved basically everything by Tamora Pierce growing up. Right now I’m reading Plus One by Elizabeth Fama.

8. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I spend way too much time on the internet, particularly tumblr.

9. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Read as much as you can and find other people who like to write. You'll learn so much.

10. Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Thank you! I love hearing from readers and really appreciate every message and review.

Thank you, Lauren! I'm glad that there will be more in this series which will hopefully answer my questions without creating too many more and I'm excited to read your stand alone book as well!

Lauren Skidmore grew up in Kansas, with stints in Ohio and New York, and currently lives in Utah. She attended Brigham Young University where she earned a BA in English Teaching with an emphasis in Teaching English as a Second Language and Japanese. She then spent a year in Japan teaching and travelling. She hasn’t made it to Europe yet, but it’s on the list and has been to 30 states in the U.S. so far. When she’s not exploring new places, you can probably find her on the internet with fifteen windows open and looking at just one more thing before actually getting something done.


Paij Slater said...

I LOVE LOVE that cover! It sounds fantastic! Great review and interview :)

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