First of all, today is the day that the newest Secret Society Girl Secret Story goes live. Check out last month’s “unlocked” story, “Poe in D.C.” on the secret story page, and, newsletter subscribers, check your inbox for the password for this month’s secret story!
In other news, reviews of RAMPANT have started popping up on the internet. First up is a preview from ‘brina of YA New York:
“Rampant is fantastic. Seriously awesome. A little bit of fantasy, a little bit of chick lit, and a bunch of unicorns.
That’s right. Unicorns.”
She goes on to add:
“(PS. This book almost makes me understand the unicorns versus zombies arguments between a bunch of YA authors. Almost, but not quite. After reading Rampant, I’m totally siding with unicorns.)”
Yeah, take that, Carrie! Boo-yeah!
And then there’s a more in depth review from Jocelyn of Teen Book Review, who writes:
“Rampant is quite a departure from Diana Peterfreund’s other books, and I love it. She’s a great writer, and, just as with her other books, I had a difficult time putting this one down! Astrid is a seriously awesome heroine, and the other characters are well-drawn and complex as well.”
And lots of other cool stuff. She also bring up a topic very near and dear to my heart:
“This book also addressed what I was worried about: I am a huge animal lover, and even if they’re killing people, I have difficulty with the idea that we should wipe out a whole species. Luckily, some of the characters felt the same way, and it was discussed (though not resolved). There was also the moral conflict of killing the unicorns when a unicorn of a tamer breed was living at the cloisters, and was in fact quite cuddly; it was difficult to think about killing them all when the unicorn we saw all the time was like a puppy (around the hunters, not other humans), and I’m glad that this wasn’t taken too lightly in the novel.”
Like Jocelyn, I am also a huge animal lover, and donate time and money to various wildlife and endangered species organizations. The thing that a lot of people don’t realize is that many hunters are also huge animal lovers and are very concerned with environmental protection. For instance, a lot of duck hunters are involved with wetland conservation (indeed, when you buy a “duck stamp,” which is like a ticket to go hunt a duck, you are donating to wetland conservation. It not only makes sure that these is land for the ducks you hunt to live and breed on, but it also protects a whole range of wetland life that you don’t hunt). In some places, because there are no more natural predators for particular animals (deer is a common one), hunting is the only way to keep populations in check so that they do not become sick, starving, or dangerous.
Sometimes there is a vision of hunters as these irresponsible killing machines, but most of the hunters I know (and have in my family) are nothing like that, and all the hunters who consulted me on this book have a deep and abiding love for animals and the wilderness.
One of the central conflicts in the unicorn story is the balance of “these animals are killing people” and “these animals are endangered, we should protect them” and it makes me so happy that it came across. Also, Jocelyn mentioned my personal favorite character in the book: the pet unicorn.
I really can’t wait for this book to come out! Argh, it’s killing me.