Sunday, March 1, 2015

Blog Tour: The Winner's Crime - Interview with Marie Rutkowski

Author: Marie Rutkowski
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux (a Macmillan imprint)
Release Date: March 3, 2015
Number of Pages: 352
Source of Book: ARC from Publisher
        Book two of the dazzling Winner's Trilogy is a fight to the death as Kestrel risks betrayal of country for love.
        The engagement of Lady Kestrel to Valoria’s crown prince means one celebration after another. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement…if she could only trust him. Yet can she even trust herself? For—unknown to Arin—Kestrel is becoming a skilled practitioner of deceit: an anonymous spy passing information to Herran, and close to uncovering a shocking secret.
        As Arin enlists dangerous allies in the struggle to keep his country’s freedom, he can’t fight the suspicion that Kestrel knows more than she shows. In the end, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth. And when that happens, Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them.

My thoughts on The Winner's Curse
A page-turning read and smart fantasy book with a unique premise. I really enjoyed this one, and am dying to know what will happen next! The main character is likeable and intelligent and fun to read about. At times, it did feel to me as if I was reading an older book (the main character is 17 but I often seemed to forget that). The commentary on war and strategy and slavery and people's perceptions intrigued me. I will definitely be recommending this one.

Thanks to Macmillan, Marie is here today to answer some questions.

What do you wish you could go back and say to your young adult self?
--Find a way to take violin lessons. Read The Outsiders. Your best friend will always be your friend (not that you doubted it). Trust your instincts (you already do; I just want you to be confident about it). It will all be ok. You will really be able to look back at some of the sad parts and smile. I promise. A lot of your dreams will come true.

What do you hope teens take away from your books?
--Emotions are complicated, and it’s absolutely common (whether we’re aware of it or not) to feel more than one thing at the same time, even if those feelings seem to contradict each other.

--Also, that it’s worth thinking about how the world shapes who you are, and how you can shape the world.

What was your favorite book (or kind of books) to read when you were in high school? And now? 
--I loved fantasy. I was really into Robin McKinley and Ellen Kushner, for example. But also, around the time I was 16, I began to read adult literary fiction and particularly loved Toni Morrison, E. Annie Proulx, Margaret Atwood, Maya Angelou, and others. And I had long loved classics by writers like Jane Austen and LM Montgomery. And I had a longstanding thing for Shakespeare.

-- I still love everything I loved then. I read a lot more YA now (there wasn’t as much of it then. Or at least, that’s my impression. I could be wrong. I definitely read and enjoyed Lois Duncan and Judy Blume and others….but it just seems like there’s more out there now for people who love YA). My recent favorite wasI’ll Give You the Sun, by Jandy Nelson. George Saunders’s short stories are new to me, and they’re sometimes horrifying but also so hopeful, so optimistic about the human spirit that I can’t look away.

If you could leave right now to visit any city in the world, where would you go?
I’ve always wanted to see Angkor Wat.
(Side note from me: I've been there, Marie. It's a must see once in your life kind of magical, spiritual place. I hope you make it there someday!)
Angkor Wat (from my trip there in 2008)

What do you wish you'd been asked for this blog tour? (and, what is your answer?)
Maybe “What do you think when you hear people describe Kestrel as a ‘strong’ female character, or as a ‘weak’ one?”

I’m interested in this question because of how people, when they use “strong” or “weak” to talk about young female characters, make assumptions about what “strong” and “weak” mean. I think there are different ways of being a strong woman, and it doesn’t necessarily involve physical strength or even action. Here are some things I think makes a strong young woman: determination, giving someone the benefit of the doubt, bravery, intelligence, a loving heart, being a true friend….Kestrel isn’t all of these things, but she possesses some of these qualities. She has weaknesses, absolutely, but I think of her as a fundamentally strong person.

Thanks for having me!

Check out the other stops on the blog tour each day to find our more of what Marie has to say.

1 comment:

  1. Angkor Wat, i want to go there too, my best friends just travel there and looks beyond this world.
    Great interview, LM Montgomery :D she is my favorite when i was a child