October 10, 2013

Book Review & Author Interview: Moonflower by E.D.C. Johnson

Hey guys! I'm super excited because today I get to gush about a really good YA book I read. It's called Moonflower and it's by EDC Johnson. She even let me interview her and her book is on sale right now so you (yes, YOU) can snatch it up! 

 I just really wanna say how impressed I was with Moonflower. It was, honestly, really good. If you think you might like it, just buy it (it's on sale, after all).. And no, I'm not making anything off this I'm just trying to tell you it was a really awesome read. Sometimes in YA plots can be so repetitive...this was SO different from all those paranormal romances out there. Well, here I am blabbing away. Let the author tell you more about it in the interview and me in my review :P 

And feel free to ask her questions in the comments ^_^


Moonflower by E.D.C. Johnson
Source: Author (paperback)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars :star :star :star :star

A copy of this book was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Josephine Woods is a fairly angst-y 16 year old girl. She lives with her mother, struggling to make ends meet, after her father dies of cancer. While arguing with her mom they get into a car accident. Josie promptly finds herself in a completely different world; alone with nothing but the clothes on her back (and her trusty backpack). She meets Lucius though, a 17 year old boy who is of royal blood-- and, he can transform into a wolf.

Moonflower was a wonderfully written story. I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I started it. I certainly didn't expect to be so enamored with the story that I would read it all in one sitting! I found the prose so natural and easy. I was instantly living the story along with Josie, and I was eager to see what would happen! Lucius, or Luc, quickly becomes Josie's best friend...and crush. He's definitely a hottie. His friendliness, chivalrous behavior quickly had me rooting for him. His brother, Donovan started crushing on Josie too. Donovan was a military man, one year older than Luc. He's more serious and I definitely found myself secretly hoping she'd pick Luc over his brother.

Josie showed a lot of strength in her situation. I liked how she didn't let the boys pressure her and kept her resolve. I was a little confused though about which boy she was favoring. It seemed like she liked Luc more, but then if Donovan would write her a love note she got all flustered. Yet, there was not much reason for it. I guess I just didn't buy that that she was considering Donovan at all. I could buy that she had feelings for Luc, though.

The story had excellent world-building too. I felt it was a different land, kind of like old times in Europe, but had a uniqueness to it I loved. I loved the culture and how both boys were incredibly respectful and polite. I don't understand why some Ya books insist on having rude boys who cover the main character by being rude and ignoring her. This book was so refreshing because the guys actually cared for her and didn't show it by being rude jerks.

The only thing I can say truly disappointed me, and the only reason it's 4 stars instead of 5, is the ending. I really felt it was incomplete. I'm not sure if this is going to be a series or if I can expect a sequel? In a way I hope so because I felt the ending was sort of a cop-out. "It lives on in your heart" type of thing just didn't cut it. Is it wrong that I wish it hadn't ended like that? I don't want to say more of my frustrations because I don't want to give anything away.

I'd recommend this book to lovers of good young adult fiction with alternate realities. It's a wonderfully romantic book that will have you eagerly flipping the pages to find out where Josie's path leads her.

View all my reviews

Note: Moonflower is in fact the first of a trilogy. I was informed of this after I wrote my review. I'm incredibly glad and excited about this and much less bothered by the ending now. I'm terribly excited for the sequel! 



I really enjoyed reading Moonflower; especially now that I know there's a sequel in the works! Did you know that the story you were writing would be a series? If not right away, when did you know? 
 At first it was just a story that I wanted to get out of my head and onto paper.  In fact, I didn’t necessarily intend to publish it but as I continued I thought I may actually be onto something.  It seemed to be flowing well and my early readers, family and close friends, were giving me positive feedback.  I think I was about halfway through when I decided to pursue making it into a novel.  That was actually early on in my three year writing process.

How did you come up with the concept of a “moonflower”?
 It may seem cliché, but it came to me in a daydream.  Right before I was about to fall asleep I imagined this scenario and it began to play like a movie in my mind.  Then I incorporated my favorite necklace into the idea.  It is made of moonstone.  This then made me wonder if there was an actual moonflower, and, well, the rest is history.

In the book, there aren't "werewolves," instead there are shifters. What are the differences between the two (if any)?
 I believe there is a significant difference between werewolves and men that shift into beasts.  In fact I call them shifters.  In my understanding of werewolves they are these tortured creatures that are uncontrollably bound to a curse.  When they transform it is not of freewill.  I also envision werewolves as walking on their hind legs though I suppose I have seen them portrayed as large wolves as well.   My shifters are given this ability they call “the gift” through bloodline.  It is not seen in a negative way though they must master the minor influences of the animalistic nature.  Their ability is simply part of who they are and they use their enhanced skills to their advantage in many ways.

Who's your favorite guy for Josephine? 
 Oh my, this is a totally unfair and utterly awesome question.  I’m actually really glad you asked it.  I will do my best to answer it in a satisfactory way but I cannot reveal too much as it may spoil the reading experience for some readers.  In fact some of my readers/reviewers have made assumptions that I favor one over the other, and perhaps I do a little, yet my intention is that both men are possible love interests for Josie.
I hope that the readers can see that there are positive and negative qualities in each man.  That neither of them are a perfect man or match for our heroine.  But that’s life.  There is no perfect man out there, however hard we may wish, but there is the guy who is perfect for you.  Josie has to weed through both Lucius’ and Donovan’s personalities to decide for herself which is the man for her—at the risk of her being indecisive.  Some readers may not like that she doesn’t take strongly to one of them right away but I think that would spoil the fun.  She’s sixteen.  There’s no rush.  Figuring out what you want is what that age is all about…and much of the years after too.
Finally, Dee, this is a real inside scoop.  Both Lucius and Donovan are actually fashioned from different aspects of my husband.  It was funny how he actually caught onto it as he was reading along with my drafts.  He can be very sweet and generous like Lucius while at another moment he is serious and driven like Donovan, but almost always he is passionate about what he is doing.  You may see that passion in both of the brothers, just about different things that are important to that character.

Will there be any new characters in the sequel? 
Oh will there ever!  This has made me giggle a couple of times.  Since most of my readers and reviewers did not know that there would be a sequel.  I had a couple of people wonder about the Wild Women and why I didn’t develop them more.  Well my dearies, I was planting a seed for the next book but could not possibly fit everything into this one.  You will see them again and in a big way. We will also explore some of the other elements mentioned in Moonflower (i.e. witches and New Corillus).  Without giving too much away I think lovers of the first book will be thrilled with how the world is expanded for the second.

When do you expect the sequel will be released? 
I hope that it will release in about a year.  That is assuming that all goes well.  I did learn a lot about the publishing process with Moonflower and hope the second one will go faster.  I do have an added challenge though.  I am a new mom with a 6 month old baby girl and my time is no longer my own like it used to be.

Thanks so much for allowing me to interview you AND review your wonderful novel. I can't wait to read the sequel! 

                                                Amazon // Goodreads // Barnes & Noble


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Diamond

(aka Dee) has loved reading for as long as she can remember. She loves many things: fantasy novels, young adult fiction, her cat, painting, and horror films from the 70s. Diamond is a grad student at UCLA. She's pursuing a Master's in Library and Information Science.

2 comments :

  1. Great review, Dee! I haven't seen this one before, but it sounds like you enjoyed it!

    Tressa @ Tressa's Wishful Endings

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great review and Interview Dee :) I loved the part where she said that there is no perfect man, only the perfect man for you!

    Chanzie @ Mean Who You Are.

    ReplyDelete

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