October 8, 2012

League of Strays by L.B. Schulman Blog Tour: Review, Interview, and Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the League of Strays Blog Tour
League of Strays by L.B. Schulman
Release Date ~ 10/1/2012
Format ~ ARC
Publisher ~ Amulet Books
Source ~ Gifted

Purchase It!
This suspenseful debut follows a group of teenage misfits in their delicious quest for revenge on those who have wronged them at their high school. When a mysterious note appears in Charlotte’s mailbox inviting her to join the League of Strays, she’s hopeful it will lead to making friends. What she discovers is a motley crew of loners and an alluring, manipulative ringleader named Kade. Kade convinces the group that they need one another both for friendship and to get back at the classmates and teachers who have betrayed them. But Kade has a bigger agenda. In addition to vandalizing their school and causing fights between other students, Kade’s real intention is a dangerous plot that will threaten lives and force Charlotte to choose between her loyalty to the League and her own conscience.
   League of Strays is a really different type of novel then the usual YA fare. It follows a very bland high school-er as she gets involved with The League of Strays - a band of misfits who seek revenge on those who have wronged them.  Led by the charismatic Kade, who is willing to go to any length to get even - and then some.

    The book does start off kinda slow, as for the first fifty pages or so it's just us getting to a feel for Charlotte's life. It's not a starting that grabs you by the neck and says "YOU'RE READING THIS SO HELP ME!", but if you read through it the book does start to get rather interesting.

  League of Strays contains a very unusual and well crafted villain. Kade, a Dexter like psychopath who hurts people because they "deserved" it (Lisa replies to that comparison in the interview). He was very charismatic and manipulated people very well to get people to do whatever the hell he wanted. Even if they had some doubts, they got too caught up in the sense of belonging Kade was offering up. Probably my favorite part of this novel was the villain development.

   The plot development was nice. All the important moments in the books were paced well without a lot of bore between the action but not enough for it to get too intense.

   All in all League of Strays is a contemporary that you should check out at some point! Good plot development, a great villain, an interesting read!
Cover Comments:
I CAN'T STOMACH THIS COVER. Kade looks like a constipated munchkin. The League of Strays font is okay but it seems like they're trying to knock off the font they use for Boardwalk Empire (HBO). 
What genre would you classify League of Strays as? Thriller? Contemporary? Something else?
It's a contemporary thriller. That's what my publisher tells me, anyway. I see it more as a psychological, coming-of-age type story, though. To me, this is more of a cautionary tale of what might happen if you allow yourself to become a follower. 
Which of your characters would you most want to go on a road-trip with?
Zoe. Deep down, she's warm, funny, and loyal, and once her defenses dropped, she'd make a great best friend. In my imaginary world, I feel like Charlotte and Zoe may end up staying in touch. Personally, I've always appreciated complex people like Zoe. Also, she seems like she'd enjoy a good adventure--that's always good for a road trip.
In the book, Kade is a lot like Dexter, hurting people but because they "deserved" it? What would you say to that comparison?
Dexter is a psychopath like Kade. Anyone who doesn't serve their immediate needs is dispensable. Most psychopaths just manipulate people, but some go on to become killers, such as the Columbine High School massacre shooter, Eric Harris. I could see Kade killing someone down the road, but I don't think he'd be a serial killer. I wouldn't want to get in his way, though.

Have you based any of your characters on people you know?
I think all writers do, consciously and subconsciously. I see some of Zoe in a friend of mine that I had when I was 13. Then there are specific character traits that I've taken from groups of people that I've known. For example: Nora. She's both the smartest girl and the stupidest. I've met people like that. Super smart when it comes to academics, and very little in the way of social intelligence. You need both to be successful in life. Charlotte was like me in some ways. I definitely was susceptible to male attention when I was in high school. Luckily, I was smarter than Charlotte about identifying losers.
Was League of Strays your first attempt at serious writing?
Yes and no. I wrote a lot of non-fiction articles online prior to this. And I was a screenwriting major in college. But this was my first attempt at a young adult novel. In case anyone thinks I wrote one book and voila, it got published, I want them to know I had to revise it for a very long time before it became publication-worthy.
What projects are you working on now?
I am working on something so complex that it is taking me a long time to finish, and yet I love it so much that I am eager to finish it and get it out on submission to publishers. It's about a girl who discovers that her dead grandmother is alive and harboring a secret that has destroyed generations of her family and will disturb the way we view history... I can't write this thing fast enough. About three-fourths done now.Describe League of Strays in three words. GO!
Describe League of Strays in three words. GO!
I'm a writer. Are you kidding me? We specialize in LOTS OF WORDS. I can barely handle the word limitation on Twitter.
About L.B. Schulman:

As part of this blog tour, L.B. is giving away five League Packages: 5 signed hardcover copies + a notebook and a set of multi-colored pens/highlighters.
- The giveaway is open to US and UK residents only
- Must be 13+ to enter
- Everything in my giveaway policy applies to this giveaway just like any other.
- All you have to do is fill in the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck to everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

1 comment:

  1. I agree about the cover, Benji. But the actual story DOES look interesting...



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