Thursday, April 11, 2013

{Blog Tour} Book Review + Character Interview + Giveaway: Stung by Bethany Wiggins


You can find the rest of the awesome tour schedule HERE!

Thanks to Hannah and Lisseth at The Book Paparazzi, and Bethany Wiggins and the super-awesome people at Bloomsbury!



Publisher: Walker Childrens
Release Date: April 2nd 2013
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic Dystopian Sci-Fi
Source: eARC for tour via NetGalley
Challenge(s): NetGalley, Dystopia, (Fairy Tales?)

There is no cure for being stung.

Fiona doesn’t remember going to sleep. But when she opens her eyes, she discovers her entire world has been altered—her house is abandoned and broken, and the entire neighborhood is barren and dead. Even stranger is the tattoo on her right hand—a black oval with five marks on either side—that she doesn’t remember getting but somehow knows she must cover at any cost. She’s right.

Those bearing the tattoo have turned into mindless, violent beasts that roam the streets and sewers, preying upon the unbranded while a select few live protected inside a fortress-like wall, their lives devoted to rebuilding society and killing all who bear the mark.

Now Fiona has awakened branded, alone—and on the wrong side of the wall.

Stung was dark, gritty, and disturbing on so many levels. It's the kind of book that sends chills up your spine and sets you on the edge of your seat, and in the mean time your heart is pounding and you can't turn pages fast enough. Not many book can do that to me, so that just goes to show how great this book was.

The premise stands out in the giant pool of YA dystopia. Can you name another book about ‘the honeybee issue’? Let alone on as dark and thrilling as this one. I didn’t think so. It definitely does share several aspects with other dystopias, but on the whole, it’s completely original.

Fiona was a surprising character. She’s been in a coma for several years, and so waking up in the body of a sixteen year old is a little disorienting. But she’s quick on her feet, and soon begins learning how to survive. I think there’s a good balance between displaying her innocence and naivety, and also showing how quickly she’s learning and maturing in the dangerous world she’s living in. Now, so many times there are characters that fall into this kind of situation who will whine like crazy! But Fiona isn’t a whiny. She puts her time and energy into what’s important: staying alive.

I didn’t really like the romance much, though. It felt kinda insta-lovey, though apparently Fiona and Bowen had known each other before as children, but the romance still came on too quickly. And if you keep in mind that Fiona still has the mind of 13 year old, and Bowen is 17/18 (can’t remember), you start to worry a bit. And there was one scene in particular that made me really hate Bowen, though only briefly.

(Highlight below to see the slightly spoiler-ish details)

[Bowen and Fiona are in an abandon hotel. Bowen had gathered all the clean water he can find for Fiona to bathe in, and a suitcase with clothing in it. Fiona bathes and decides to put on a dress because she wants to feel girly. When she comes out Bowen freaks out because she’s not supposed to dress like a girl because since women are so scarce, men can’t control themselves and will usually kidnap and/or rape them. That’s all fine and dandy, but then Bowen says that he can’t control himself either, which I think is crap. He’s not some wild dog! He is capable of controlling himself, and there’s nothing wrong with wearing a dress! So then Fiona goes to change into boy clothes so that Bowen can “control himself”.]

Now…I’ve heard rumors that this was a Sleeping Beauty retelling, but I can't find anything “official” confirming it. If I hadn’t heard that from someone (can’t remember who) I wouldn’t have guessed, because the book doesn't follow Sleeping Beauty at all except for a girl waking up from a coma (and something small at the very end). But whether it’s true or not, this book can stand on it’s own two feet.

A powerful, gritty, and ultimately thrilling story that’s a scary prediction of what our world could become, Stung is a must-read!


prettydirty Pretty heavy, moderately graphic violence. Also some questionable choices in language.

Character Interview With Bowen


How would you describe yourself?

I'm the guy that nothing good ever happens to. From birth, my life's sort of been crappy. My dad's almost never home because he's a truck driver (and when he is home he makes life miserable), and my mom loves me, but half the time she forgets I exist. So I have learned to make things work for myself.


What is your deepest fear?

Letting the Raiders catch Fiona Tarsis.

What are your best and worst qualities?

We'll start with worst because I've got a lot of those. Like my habit of hoarding food for myself even though I see starving Fecs every day. And the fact that I'd rather shoot a beast so it won't kill me instead of trying to restrain it and get it to the lab in hopes of scientists finding a cure. I guess those both mean I'm selfish--yeah, selfish. I want to live, even at the expense of others. Good qualities? I can shoot almost any target, even a moving target. I remember what it means to love, and that forces me to break free from being selfish. And that's it.

What was your initial impression of Fiona?

When I first clapped cuffs on Fiona I thought she was a boy. More than anything, I wanted nothing to do with her. I would have shot her if she looked at me wrong. But as soon as I realized the boy I was given charge of was my old neighbor, Fiona Tarsis, I couldn't believe she was alive, I couldn't believe fate had delivered her to me . . . and I REALLY couldn't believe that after four years, I still had a freaking crush on her! It made things difficult, to say the least.

What do you miss from your old life?

Living without fear. I am so tired of not being able to walk down the street without looking over my shoulder. So sick of not being able to sleep well because I'm afraid of what will wake me up. I miss being able to eat without wondering if what I'm eating is going to be my last meal.

What's the number one survival tip you could offer?

Embrace your fear! It's what will keep you alive in this world. Fear is your friend if you can learn to control it.

What is something you'd be willing to give your life for?

The chance to make things better. I would die fighting to make the world a better place. You'll get to see some of that in STUNG 2, aka CURED.

Book Trailer

Usually I don’t really care for book trailers, but I thought I’d share this one because it’s exceptional. Definitely worth spending 58 seconds of your life watching!



Bethany Wiggins has always been an avid reader, but not an avid writer.  She failed ninth grade English because she read novels instead of doing her homework. In high school, she sat alone at lunch and read massive hardback fantasy novels (Tad Williams and Robert Jordan anyone?). It wasn't until the end of her senior year that the other students realized she was reading fiction--not the Bible

Once upon a time, Bethany's sister dared her to start writing an hour a day until she completed a novel. Bethany wrote a seven-hundred page fantasy novel that she wisely let no one read--but it taught her how to write.  She is the author of SHIFTING, STUNG (April 2013), and CURED (2014).

Find her on Twitter and Goodreads


Up for grabs today are 4 *signed* copies of Stung and some honey sticks (which makes sense once you read the book) Enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. LOVE the concept of this book! Bethany Wiggins is an awesome author :)

    Thank you:)

  2. Great review, Debz. The following rant is at the book, not you.

    NO NO NO NO NO! Let's just perpetuate the myth that girls are "asking for it" when they wear certain clothing and that the burden of preventing rape should rest solely on women. I'm sure that Bowen was well aware she was a girl before she put on the dress, so if he really had issues "controlling himself" it should have come out earlier. How about you instead require your "hero" to man up, control himself, and NOT RAPE PEOPLE.

    Thank you. That is all.

    1. Amen! And it's not like it was a super sexy, revealing dress (if I remember correctly) anyway. Just a fun dress that I doubt would conjure up the thoughts Bowen seemed to be having in even the dirtiest of minds.
      He does talk about how the other guys act when they run into women, but the way he goes about doing it implies that he doesn't think and act that way, so then when this scene happened I was especially mad.


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