Review/Character Interview ~ Shudder by Samantha Durante

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Title: Shudder
Author: Samantha Durante
Series: Stitch #2
Genre: YA Paranormal/Dystopia
Published: June 15th 2013

It’s only been three days, and already everything is different.

Paragon is behind her, but somehow Alessa’s life may actually have gotten worse. In a wrenching twist of fate, she traded the safety and companionship of her sister for that of her true love, losing a vital partner she’d counted on for the ordeal ahead. Her comfortable university life is but a distant memory, as she faces the prospect of surviving a bleak winter on the meager remains of a ravaged world. And if she’d thought she’d tasted fear upon seeing a ghost, she was wrong; now she’s discovering new depths of terror while being hunted by a deadly virus and a terrifying pack of superhuman creatures thirsting for blood.

And then there are the visions.

The memory-altering “stitch” unlocked something in Alessa’s mind, and now she can’t shake the constant flood of alien feelings ransacking her emotions. Haunting memories of an old flame are driving a deep and painful rift into her once-secure relationship. And a series of staggering revelations about the treacherous Engineers – and the bone-chilling deceit shrouding her world’s sorry history – will soon leave Alessa reeling…

The second installment in the electrifying Stitch Trilogy, Shudder follows Samantha Durante’s shocking and innovative debut with a heart-pounding, paranormal-dusted dystopian adventure sure to keep the pages turning.
Buy Now * – Amazon

If you have read my review of Stitch, this is going to sound completely different to what I wrote there. There was a massive twist exposed in the first book that changed the direction of how the story was headed. In Shudder I learnt a lot more about the world that Alessa and Izaac are now living in. It was an intense journey, which had me on edge and left me wanting more…NOW!!

Alessa and Izaak are together in Shudder, on a mission to see if they are able to find a new place for the Rebels to set up a base so that they can plan to attack Paragon. The Rebels are sick of being treated as lab rats and want revenge. Alessa and Izaac take on the dangers on being outside of the Paragon walls to complete their task. I was often flicking the pages quickly to see what was happening as there are dangers out there that they can’t see, but are deadly.

Alessa and Izaac still have chemistry but with the overwhelming feelings that she sometimes has, it makes it hard for her. She is unsure why she is thinking so much about Joe, when she knows that Izaac is her future. Seeing them together was sweet. They are a great couple and work together with ease. Izaac has to overcome a few hurdles and one in particular makes me wonder if it will affect how things will go in the next book. Alessa is emotionally affected by things around her and at times struggles with it, but I could see she was developing something that may turn out to be an asset to her, although she doesn’t see it that way.

I liked how there were multiple POV’s this time; so not only did I follow Alessa and Izaak, I saw Nikhil and someone named the Phoenix as well. As I was able to see these two characters, I was able to get a better understanding of the whole Stitch process and how the virus was released. These details helped build the plot to be as remarkable as it is. I love this world that Samantha has created; picturing what each character was doing was believable and I felt that at times I could've been right there with the characters. But that ending… OMG Samantha!! How can you do that to us?? I am excited how it is all going to end with Stuck now…

I received a copy of this book from the Author in exchange for an honest review.

Check out my review for Stitch (book 1) HERE.
Stitch is at Amazon for only 99c!!

Naomi: Hi Alessa and Isaac! Welcome to my Paranormal Palace!!
Alessa: We’re very excited to be here!
Isaac: Thanks so much for having us, Naomi!

Naomi: The pleasure is mine, I assure you! Alright, let’s get straight into the nitty gritty. How are you both adjusting to life now that you are out of the spotlight, not that you realised that you were being filmed before…
A: (big sigh) It’s a relief!  It was SO difficult during Stitch once I realized what was going on.  Can you imagine getting dressed or going to the bathroom knowing there are thousands of people watching you??  It was horrifying.
I: Yeah, we were definitely happy to get some alone time in Shudder.  (gives Alessa a wink)
A: (laughs and elbows Isaac)

Naomi: That is a relief then! Alright, so when you were travelling together, looking for a new base for the rebels, what was the happiest moment for you guys?
I: What do you think, Less?  I’d say probably the couple days’ respite we had at Raptor, right?
A: (nods) I’d agree – it was just so nice to have a little downtime and feel safe for a bit in knowing everything was going our way, for once.

Naomi: (Raises eyebrows) Respite, hey?? Interesting…Hmmm.
Alessa, how have you adjusted knowing that Joe is not around anymore?
I: (shifts uncomfortably)
A: (grabs Isaac’s hand) Losing Joe might have been the hardest thing either of us have been through.  There will always be a hole in my heart – in both of our hearts – for him.  Nothing can replace a brother or a friend.
I: (nodding) It was definitely an adjustment for both of us, and it happened so suddenly, it’s totally understandable to have unresolved feelings.  We just do our best to get through it, together.

Naomi: (Nods sympathetically) I understand your loss. So moving onto something interesting… Isaac, when do you think you first were in love with Alessa?
I: (smiles, looks at Alessa) It happened slowly over time.  Even when I only knew her as Joe’s friend, I had a crush on her – how could I not?  But it was in the months after losing Joe, when we were working closely together on her training for the resistance that my feelings really grew into something more – first respect, then friendship, then love.  I couldn’t pinpoint an exact moment.

Naomi: Awww… that’s so sweet!
Isaac, do you think that you are living in Joe’s shadow at all?
I: Honestly?  It’s hard not to.  Joe was a lot of great things, not the least of which was my big brother, so I’ll always be in his shadow to some extent.  I’m just doing my best to do justice to his legacy. (shrugs, smiles)

Naomi: Fair enough Isaac. So Alessa, what do you think are Isaac’s strengths?
A: His kindness, first of all.  (smiles at Isaac)  I’ve never met anyone else who’s so patient, so understanding, such a rock.  I know I can count on him for anything.  And he’s not unpleasant to look at it, either.  (winks, laughs)
I: Thanks, babe.

Naomi: I must agree with you there Alessa (Looks Isaac up and down and winks at Alessa) Isaac, what do you love most about Alessa?
I: I love Alessa’s strength – she’s so determined, so smart, so dedicated to the people she loves.  She’s got great intuition, and she’s fierce under pressure.  I trust her completely, with anything.

Naomi: Really? That’s great to know! Ok, tell me something about yourselves that no-one else may know about you.
A: Isaac snores sometimes. (giggling)
I: Whoa!  Well if we’re going there, I guess you don’t mind me telling them about the stench coming off your toes after a long day’s hike…
A: (gasps, mouth open)
I: (laughing hysterically) Touché, love.

Naomi: Hahaha!! You too are so cute! Alright, do you have long term plans in mind for the future?
A: I can’t even think about the future until we get through this war with Paragon.  It’s too scary – I don’t want to put myself in a position to grieve for the future we could have had.  I’m just trying to live in the moment.
I: (nodding) We’re just taking things one day at a time.

Naomi: Sounds like a good plan. Speaking of plans, can you give us any insider tips as to how you plan on bringing Paragon down??
A: Hmmm, I don’t think our commander Regina would be too happy about that…
I: No, haha, she wouldn’t.  (Thinks for a second)  All I’ll say is, you’ll see in the next book that – as is usually the case in Paragon – things don’t exactly go as planned…

Naomi: You guys are very cryptic.... (sighs). Alright then.... we'll have to wrap it up there, but thanks for coming in and sharing with me today Alessa and Isaac. Come back anytime!
A: Thanks again for having us, Naomi!
I: Hope you guys enjoy the rest of the Shudder Blog Tour!

Samantha Durante lives in Westchester County, New York with her husband, Sudeep, and her cat, Gio. Formerly an engineer at Microsoft, Samantha left the world of software in 2010 to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams and a lifelong love of writing. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology, Samantha is currently working full time for her company Medley Media Associates as a freelance business writer and communications consultant. The Stitch Trilogy is her debut series. Learn more about Samantha at

Twitter: @SamanthaDurante | Hashtag suggestions: #Stitch, #StitchTrilogy, #Shudder
LibraryThing: Stitch | Shudder | Author Samantha Durante

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