Sunday, April 8, 2012

REVAMPED by Ada Adams review, interview, and giveaway!!

I'm super excited to bring you a review + interview for my Bewitching Book Tours stop! As a big thank you for stopping by my blog, I also have a contest for you! One lucky winner will win an e-copy of ReVamped by Ada Adams!

About the Author:

"Many people sing in the shower. I, on the other hand, write scenes in my head and act them out."

At age five, Ada read her first chapter book - Pippi Longstocking. Ever since that moment, she developed an intense passion for the stories and characters found within the pages of literature.

In her career as an actress and a writer, Ada currently spends most of her days immersed in imaginary worlds. Much like the characters she enjoys playing and writing about, Ada is a martial artist with a Black Belt in Shotokan Karate. She is also a big proponent of lifelong learning, and has attained Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (it aids in creating characters with unique quirks!) as well as a Master's of Science in Education.

Ada strives to bring a fresh voice and perspective to fiction. She has been writing creatively for many years. "ReVamped" is her debut novel.

She lives in Toronto, Canada, and enjoys adventurous nature hikes with her adorable puppies Cara and Oreo.

About the book:

Ada Adams

Rating: A

Synopsis from
A simple mission turned deadly. 

Nineteen-year-old vampire Dawn has led a sheltered life within the confines of her father’s presidential headquarters. Upon being sent on a mission to revamp four goofy misfits into guardians of a peaceful little town of Angel Creek, Dawn believes that all her dreams have finally come true. What starts off as a simple task, turns into something unexpected, changing Dawn’s life forever and leading the action-loving, thrill-seeking vampire teen on a path of mystery, danger and intrigue. 

When a human girl is kidnapped by a group of rogue vamps, Dawn discovers that there is more going on in Angel Creek than meets the eye. And it all connects to Ethan, the cute newcomer who seems too perfect to be true, Sebastian, the mysterious vampire with a turbulent past, and even Dawn herself. Dawn must not only succeed in revamping the troubled recruits, but must also prevent the vampire race from being overtaken by a malevolent villain who has a strange and obsessive fascination with her. As threat escalates, romance blooms, and ghosts from her past begin to surface, Dawn is sure of only one thing: her life will never be the same.

My thoughts on the book:
Adams has created a wonderful world that's full of suspense, danger, and romance. ReVamped is an intelligent alternative to many of the YA books out there today, and it is a refreshing and unique take on vampire lore. It did remind me a tiny bit of the Sookie series, but I love that series, so I am okay with that. The characters in this book are well-developed, the plot is intriguing, and there is plenty of action. This book flies by. I read it all in one sitting, and I cannot wait for the sequel!

Dawn as a fantastic character. She was smart, funny, and kick-ass. She could take care of herself and didn't rely on some man to save her or make her happy. I really liked that about her. She was a bit naive, but it was endearing instead of annoying. She never came off as stupid, just inexperienced. Sebastian was also an interesting character who grabbed my attention. I always love the emotionally damaged, abrasive bad boy with a heart of gold. I loved Ethan, too, and he was super brave and a really fun character, but I still like Sebastian the best. 

The plot is a bit political at times. Not that Adams is shoving her political beliefs down your throat, just that a lot of it has to do with politics and the vampire president's (Dawn's dad) political problems. This novel assumes that you have enough brain cells to follow what's going on and keep up with everything. It keeps you guessing and doesn't simplify anything. It's not overly complicated, but it's not straight forward and easy to predict either. I really loved that about this book. The pacing was spot on and I never felt like the book lagged in any way. 

The action is intense. Dawn kicks a lot of ass, and I was kept on the edge of my seat for most of the novel. There are so many twists, turns, and surprises that I was also kept guessing the entire time. I really enjoyed this book, and I can't wait for the sequel. It's hard to believe that Ada Adams is a debut author, because this novel is fantastic!

Want to buy ReVamped?

Interview with Ada Adams:
1. REVAMPED has a lot of politics in it for a YA novel, which I loved. What made you decide to incorporate politics?
Since “ReVamped” addresses the question of “what would happen if vampires actually existed amongst us?”, it was natural for politics to come into play on some level. After all, the way our society is currently structured, if vampires were to co-exist peacefully with humans, some rules and constitutions would have to be implemented. At the same time, these rules can often be dangerous because they force others to challenge them and search for different ways to power. With the emergence of popular dystopian novels (which also incorporate a lot of politics), we know that most YA readers are well-informed on political matters and interested in the subject. I wanted to take a bit of a satirical approach, since politics and satire often go hand in hand. Ultimately, however, I hope that readers view “ReVamped” as a piece of entertaining, lighthearted work, and not necessarily a very serious discourse on politics. :)

2. How did you come up with the idea of the Born vs. Made vampires?
I always knew that I wanted Dawn to be special. I also wanted to connect her with one of her love interests on a deeper level. Now, the explanation gets a bit tricky and vague, as I’m trying not to give away an important part of the story…Originally, Dawn was supposed to be a very old vampire made in the 1800’s. However, while I liked the thought of how strong and powerful that would make her, I also really wanted her to be a naive, vulnerable character. I realized that I had to find another way to connect Dawn to the past. The Born kind of came about by philosophizing about the origins of the very first vampires, and the possibility that perhaps a few very special ones were born that way (cue Lady Gaga!), instead of created. The origins of the Born, as well as Dawn’s birth will be explored on a much deeper level in the upcoming books.

3. Dawn is more intelligent than a lot of the heroines in YA novels, and she's also a little bit older (19). At the same time, she's also very naive because she's been so sheltered. Was it hard to find the balance between naivete and intelligence without making Dawn seem like a total ditz sometimes?
That’s because Brooke usurped all the ditziness we had space for in “ReVamped”! :) But, yes, it was difficult to find the perfect balance with Dawn’s strength and intelligence, and her naiveté. Dawn had spent her entire life training and learning. She had very little social life, and her main goals revolved around becoming her father’s second-in-command and going on missions. Yes, she was strong and smart, but more than anything, I worried about how to make her “human”. In the first draft, she was a lot more sarcastic and somewhat robotic when it came to emotions. Not because she wasn’t capable of feelings, but because she had learned to hide her emotions so well. In the re-write, I decided to open her up more, and let the audience see just how sincere, youthful and inexperienced she was in certain regards. Even though she is nineteen, she’s even more naïve than most sixteen and seventeen-year-old heroines when it comes to her feelings (especially her take on love and romance). However, by the end of the book, she’s slowly maturing and coming into her own. Because of this, in the sequel, we will get to explore the romantic aspect of Dawn’s life a lot more. She will be forced to face her feelings and start being more of a fighter when it comes to her emotions.

4. Are Dawn, Sebastian, Dawn's father, and Ethan based off of people you know in real life, or are they completely fabricated?
All of the characters in “ReVamped” are purely fictional (both look and personality wise). That being said, certain character traits and relationships draw inspiration from real-life people or events. Many of the non-vampire-related things that the characters deal with (the relationship between Dawn and her father, Brooke’s desire to be popular, Sophie’s friendship issues, etc.), are things that people—vampire or human—may face in real life.

5. What authors have inspired you the most?
Throughout my life, I have been inspired by different authors in different ways. I am a big reader, and I like to read books in diverse genres. I don’t have a favorite book or author, simply because different books speak to me in different ways. I love YA literature, of course, but I also enjoy adult novels about family life and cultures around the world. I’m inspired by unique prose and touching characters. I admire by what J.K. Rowling achieved with her “Harry Potter” series. She not only wrote a wonderful story with a unique plot and interesting characters, but she moved the entire world with her writing! Whether you are a fan of the books or not, I think one thing that really stands out is the reaction that people had to her work. A lot of young readers, especially boys, picked up their first books because they wanted to read about the world that she created. I admire authors who write because they have the passion to do so, not because they wish to achieve fame or earn a lot of money. Writing should always come from the heart.

6. What projects are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on the second book in the “Angel Creek” series, “ReAwakened”. The story takes us on a more intimate journey in regard to character development. We get to see deeper into the misfits’ pasts, as well as get to know Dawn, Sebastian, and Ethan on a more intimate level. We also get to explore the romantic aspect of Dawn’s life in much more detail. I made the decision to keep the romance in “ReVamped” at a certain level (which perhaps isn’t as intense as many other YA books out there), due to the fact that I needed to stay true to my plot and characters. However, things definitely start to heat up in “ReAwakened”, especially thanks to the introduction of a few new characters that are in town to cause some mayhem for Dawn and the gang!

7. How long did it take you to write this book?
The first draft of the book took about six weeks to write. I spent a good portion of that time being woken up in the middle of the night because one of the characters desperately needed to do or say something. This led to many 3:00 a.m. writing sessions! Of course, the book took much longer to re-draft and edit.

8. If you could have coffee with any of your characters, who would you choose and why?
I would most likely have to choose the misfits (Brooke, Sophie, Hunter and Seth). The interactions between these characters always crack me up, so I would love to see what they are like in real life. I’m also very interested in exploring their lives in more detail, and have many questions about their pasts. I would just have to make sure to keep Hunter away from Irish Coffee! Sebastian would also be a fascinating character to get to know, since he has had such an interesting past that we still know very little about. In the upcoming book, we will find out more about the time he spent in Mexico with the underground vampire clan (and perhaps even meet a lady or two from his past).

Click read more to read some exclusive excerpts and enter the giveaway!

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A sharp, searing pain pierced through my chest as I watched the guy I liked—the guy I was falling in love with—kiss another girl. With every fiber of my being, I willed myself to look away, my vision blurring in a desperate attempt to escape the agonizing scene before me. My body failed to obey; my gaze remained firmly glued to the couple.
Powerless, I surrendered to the nightmare, for a brief moment allowing myself to imagine that his muscular arms were, in fact, embracing me. After all, the girl’s face, with its pale complexion, high cheekbones, straight nose and cupid-bow lips, was identical to mine. Her glossy brown hair cascaded down her back, each loose wave perfectly matching my own. Even her slender body curved in precisely the same places. Looking at her was like gazing into the smooth, reflective surface of a moving, breathing mirror.
She was me.
Or was I her?
She fluttered open her long, dark lashes, and pulling me out of the fantasy, revealed the one perceptible difference between us: her emerald green eyes. While hauntingly beautiful, they looked nothing at all like my pale violet ones. She stared directly at me, tightening her grip on the only person in the world I had ever wanted to be with—mocking me for being too late.
Aurora,” he whispered in her ear.
In that instant, I knew with certainty that he was not thinking about me.

Excerpt Two:


I ordered Seth to wait in the car and slowly made my way up the dirt path in the direction of what I had hoped was Sebastian’s residence. The longer I walked, the darker and more daunting the clouds above became. Finally, with a booming crash of thunder, the sky tore open, releasing a fresh downpour of cool rain. This time it was faster and heavier, pummeling against Hannah’s note and drenching her small, neat writing. I considered turning back and meeting with Sebastian another time, but my curiosity got the best of me.

I examined Hannah’s note, squinting to make out some of the smudged words.

Sebastian York is a twenty-one year-old Scorpio. He has gorgeous light gray eyes, the color of sparkling glaciers. His midnight-black hair is slightly curly and just long enough to make you daydream about running your fingers through his locks. He’s super tall and really, really hot. Just try to peel your eyes away from all those lean muscles! Yum! He’s brooding, mysterious, strong, and self-deprecating (or at least he seems like the type)—the perfect vampire!

I had to stop myself from reading the rest. Hannah’s report on Sebastian was a little over-the-top for my taste. Not to mention, much too unbelievable. I scrunched up the soaked paper and tucked it into the pocket of my jeans. I smiled to myself, thinking that the bubbly redhead had a promising career ahead of her as a writer of cheesy romance novels.

The hike through the forest led to a secluded clearing. The trees parted, revealing a striking building more akin to a grand mansion, than a house in the woods. While made in the same style as the buildings in town, the three-storey structure had a stately, regal air about it. Clad in white stone with Grecian temple-inspired columns towering across its entire façade, it very much resembled the majestic inn on the grounds of the Angel Creek Park.
The driveway finally came to an end and I found myself next to a luxury antique car. Its cherry-red hood was propped wide open, so it took a moment before I noticed that there was a figure tinkering with the machinery underneath. He wore a pair of loose, black pants, the muscles on his bare back flexing as he strained to tighten something with a metal wrench.
Hannah’s words flashed through my mind as I stood frozen in place, observing Sebastian’s profile. My gaze traveled along his tall, lean body, to his face, gliding over his sharp angular jaw and high cheekbones, and, finally, finding a resting place on his dark locks. Embarrassed by my unexpected attraction to the vampire in front of me, I sharply looked away, thankful for the cooling sensation of the wet raindrops against my skin.
Suddenly, Sebastian sensed my presence. His entire body tensed as he spun around, the wrench firmly grasped in his hand, ready and poised for an attack. The moment his eyes fixed on me, he froze, a look of sheer terror seizing his face. The metal tool fell out of his hand, hitting the cobblestone with a loud clank. The noise seemed to break the spell he was under. As his gaze connected with mine, the look of horror that came over him just moments before, immediately vanished.
“Sebastian?” I asked breathlessly, unnerved by his startling reaction.
He didn’t reply. Instead, he continued to examine every inch of me with his cool, gray eyes. My entire body blazed under his scrutinizing stare, but despite the uneasiness, I couldn’t bring myself to look away from him. The strong wind frantically tugged at my hair, as if trying to snap me out of my trance. In spite of nature’s best efforts, I simply stood there, locked in an unnerving staring contest with the mysterious vampire. A deafening clap of thunder shook the earth, causing me to jump, and startling Sebastian back to his senses.
“Who wants to know?” he finally responded. There was a sharp edge to his smooth voice.
“My name is Dawn,” I said, attempting a smile. “I’m here on an assignment from the Vampire President to train the new guardians of Angel Creek. Since you’re one of the five vampire residents, I thought you’d want to know about the mission and take part—” I paused abruptly, distracted by the angry scowl forming across his face.
Another earsplitting roar of thunder sounded before he spoke. “Not interested.” he said curtly, his eyes still intent on me. He was boldly exploring my face, his gaze slowly traveling down my body.
“Dawn, did you say?” he asked curiously, his voice a little less brisk.
I nodded, crossing my arms in a self-conscious effort to shield myself from his gaze. “So can we count you in?” I asked hopefully.
“What do you mean no?” I asked in disbelief. I was quickly becoming annoyed with the shirtless, ill-mannered vampire.
“No. Nope. Not interested. Is that clear enough for you?”
“Yes, really—no.” He turned away, waving his hand in my direction as if to let me know I was dismissed.
“Why?” I asked, stretching out to grab his arm. Thankfully, he had moved just before I could reach him, as mid-grab, I realized that touching Sebastian was a bold move that I had not fully thought out.
He turned around to face me, the feverish look in his eyes causing me to take a slight step back. “I don’t really embrace this whole vampire fad. I’m not interested in anything related to vampires, being a vampire or serving the Vampire President. Got it?”
“What about your obligation to protect humans?” I questioned.
“I’m not interested in humans either, not even the sad, vulnerable ones so many vampire idiots fall for. You could say, I'm only interested in myself.” He smirked, his tone once again reaching sub-zero temperatures. “So, if you wouldn’t mind leaving, I’d love to get back to work.”
“But, but…you can’t do that. When I tell the President that you’re here, he’ll order you to join the group.” I was grasping at straws.
All of a sudden, Sebastian charged toward me, thrusting his face into mine. He was so close our noses almost touched. As I raised my eyes to meet his, the raindrops from his glistening locks dripped onto my forehead. I resisted the temptation to blink as droplets of water fell onto my eyelashes, not wanting to show him any weakness.
“For the past century I’ve been doing exactly what I want, when I want. I don’t owe anything to any human or vampire—especially not the President. Now, leave before I make you leave!” he said through clenched teeth.
Fine!” I yelled, pressing my fists tightly against my legs in an effort to prevent myself from striking him. “But, just so you know, you’re a really sucky vampire.” I mentally kicked myself for the lame retort, also chastising myself for having wanted this aggravating snob to join the group.
“Please don’t come around here anymore.” With those final words, Sebastian stormed off into the house, slamming the heavy door behind him. I was left alone on the wet driveway; feeling confused, angry, and somewhat excited by our meeting.
That evening, nestled in the small, cozy cottage in the depths of the Angel Creek forest, I glumly surveyed the vampires gathered around the dining room table. Hunter was resting his head on the linen tablecloth, struggling to stay awake. Every so often, he would succeed in lifting his heavy lids and focusing his eyes on me, only to instantly retreat into his intoxicated coma. Sophie sat to Hunter’s right, her forehead scrunched tightly as she squinted at the tiny print of her historical fiction novel. Her pupils moved at lightning speed as her eyes traversed the pages of the book, hungrily devouring the story. Across from them, Brooke was polishing her nails with a sharp, pink file. She paused after each stroke to carefully inspect her nails and ensure that she was creating the perfect shape. Seth sat at the foot of the table, a large head of garlic in his hand. He peeled off a clove and popped it into his mouth, wincing as the bitter flavor reached his taste buds. All the while, he shot dirty looks in Brooke’s direction.
Drawing in a deep, calming breath, I launched into a short speech I had prepared earlier in the day. “Congratulations new vampire recruits! The four of you are now the official guardians of Angel Creek. This is both a great honor and an important task. Are you ready to band together and work with me?” I asked with as much excitement as I could muster.
“Hmm?” Hunter murmured, raising his head.
“Y-Yes.” Sophie whispered.
“Okay,” Brooke said. “But it better make me super popular.”
Seth narrowed his eyes at Brooke. “As long as I don’t have to work too closely with her.”
It was the best I was going to get, I realized.
“Tomorrow morning we begin our train—” Before I had a chance to finish my sentence, a sudden blur of movement in the woods caught my attention. I only saw it for a split second, but it was enough to convince me that someone was lurking outside. Someone had found our secret location.
Not wanting to panic the recruits, I casually made my way to one of the dining room windows. Wiping away layers of dust that clouded the glass pane, I pressed my forehead against its cool surface, scanning the horizon for the origin of the activity. It was difficult to make out through the thick sheets of rain, but right at the edge of the forest, concealed by the shadowy trees, stood a tall, dark silhouette. From its frame alone, I could not tell if it belonged to a human, a vampire, or some other being altogether. I was only sure of one thing—it was watching us. I rushed outside to investigate, but by the time I had reached its hiding spot, the stranger had vanished into the darkness.


  1. Hi Amber!

    Thank you very much for your review of "ReVamped"! I'm so glad that you enjoyed it. I appreciate your thoughts on the story!

    Good luck to all who enter the giveaway! :)

    Best regards,

  2. I like your Review on Revamped, I also really like your rating system, the whole Letter Grade style instead of the typical stars. I like it because I haven't seen it around on any other blogs, its Unique, which is completely awesome :D

    1. Hey, thank you! I want to be a college professor if I ever make it through college, so I thought that rating style would be appropriate for my personality and career choice! Thank you so much for stopping by! :D

  3. Hey Amber! Loved your review. I've been wanting to read this one. I have it already, I just need to find the time to read it. LOL.

  4. I recently read this book and liked it pretty much. It has a unique spin on vampires. I like Dawn, I like Sebastian. I don't really feel for any of the other characters. Most are too wishy-washy and inconsistent. And Aurora... up until the end I didn't care. A lot of things were simply thrown at the reader, and I hated that. The writing could have been better, but it was pretty good. Maybe 3 stars from me. Thanks for the review!

    Alyssa Susanna

  5. I have always liked unpredictable books that doesn't 'dumb it down'. The fact that this book was given an A rating by you just solidifies that I must read this book

  6. awesome review i have to book haven't read it yet but going too

  7. This book has been on my TBR pile for a while now. I guess I'll finally give it a shot after seeing you rating :) Glad you made the review! It's awesome and I think it's the perfect impulse for me to read ReVamped <3

  8. I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was really well written. It had some elements that you don't read very much. I'm goad you enjoyed it!
    Brittany S


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