Guys! I am ecstatic and honored to be the first stop on the Antidote blog tour! Not only is it my first ever blog tour, but I’m the first stop on the tour! So exciting! I’ve talked to Taylor a few times in the last few weeks and she is an absolute sweetheart. I love getting to know authors on a more personal level, and Taylor is a person you want to know! 😉
On my stop of the tour, I was lucky enough to get an author interview with Taylor – so continue on to read not only my review of Antidote but also an interview where you can get to know a little about Taylor and little about the inspiration toward the book.
About the Book + Review
Life sucks, and then you rot. No one knows how Dermadecatis is contracted, but its existence has changed everything for 18-year-old Lena, in this riveting debut from Taylor Hondos. No contact with other people. Masks must be worn in public at all times. Four months ago men, women and children alike began to rot from the inside out, and the world as we know it changed forever. Life goes on, but now everything revolves around the need to survive and find a cure for Dermadecatis, the disease that Lena Alona’s father discovered. Unfortunately for Lena and everyone else who is desperate to survive, her father’s secrets died when he did.
This was very fast paced and action packed from the very first page. There’s something about a book that starts with a prologue that I really enjoy. I can’t pinpoint why or what, but a prologue pulls you in and in my experience is less likely to be slow and drone on.
It’s no secret that I love apocalyptic and/or dystopian stories. I love reading a story about a world that we have to find a way to survive and thinking about whether I can survive given the circumstances. Antidote had an apocalyptic theme to it, although not in the same sense as most survival stories that we’ve all read. Definitely unique.
I finished this book in just a few short hours and I was thoroughly impressed with the storyline and even the cliffhanger. There were a couple issues that I had – nothing that I couldn’t overlook, since I really liked the overall theme and story itself – that I’ll get to in a minute. I must admit, though, this is one of my top five favorite reads for the year so far.
With the Dermadecatis – no one knows where its origin came from which is typical with any type of apocalyptic/dystopian story. However, Lena’s father had a heavy hand in it and Jared is somehow involved. There were only a few characters that I liked, which is par the course for such a book that has evil intended characters.
I really like Jared. I don’t want to say there was “personal growth” with his character, but you could definitely see where he opened himself up to Lena after awhile. I didn’t see it coming, I thought he would remain in that asshole mode the entire time. Kind of like Gabe – who is still an asshole but did lighten up just a little. I have a theory about Gabe, but no spoilers!
The story starts off from Lena’s point of view and about mid-way switches to Jared’s point of view. It was difficult switching from one to another, especially when Jared’s point of view didn’t really feel like it was from him. It more or less felt like an extension of Lena’s point of view. Which made a lot of things repetitive. I like multi person point of views, but I just wasn’t feeling it from Jared.
There were a lot of elements that I was able to visualize because of descriptions. It wasn’t highly detailed, but it left enough for my brain to visualize the rest. For instance, the rotting of the skin once Dermadecatis starts taking affect.
I’m ready for Prospect now! I want to know how this saga continues. There were enough twists and turns, odds and ends, and questions to keep you interested! 🙂
About the Author
Taylor is the author of the Antidote trilogy. In 2013, she began studying at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro working toward a degree in English. She enjoys reading and writing instead of doing her homework, and eats Lucky Charms in her pajamas on the weekends. Taylor loves Harry Potter, Sex and the City, and Game of Thrones. She absolutely hates any type of bugs, and loves October and cold weather.
She is currently working on Prospect, the second book in the Antidote trilogy.
I had the privilege of asking Taylor a few questions about Antidote and a few things about herself. Taylor is such a sweet girl and it was a real pleasure having her answer my questions.
Brittany: I read that you got the idea for Antidote from I, Robot (I adore this movie, by the way) – do you think there could be anything good that comes from becoming a world full of robots?
Taylor: I love that movie. Will Smith always knows how to deliver. I think there would be more harm than good if the world were full of robots. The humans that were left would probably not like to become a robot and therefore, they might start fighting back. I don’t know though, if no humans were left, would there be any issues in our world?! (World peace?!) But there is the option that the robots might turn against each other for power just as humans do. Perhaps the robots would act just like humans… with dangerous, yet cool, abilities. It’s a toss up really.
Brittany: While reading Antidote, I sensed so many other apocalyptic themes (the Dermadecatis side of things) – do you have a favorite apocalyptic TV show/movie or book?
Taylor: I love all things concerning an apocalypse. Not because I want there to be one (lol), but because it’s always cool to see and read about apocalypses. It is so interesting to see what could happen to our world by the choices we make. I am a huge fan of The 5th Wave books. I think that would be my favorite book series in that genre. The Walking Dead is one of my favorite TV shows in the apocalyptic genre! (I would totally die within days of a zombie apocalypse.) And as for movies, I would say Zombieland (Jessie Eisenburg couldn’t save me here either. I think I would even die in Zombieland *cue eyeroll.)
Brittany: I know authors don’t always have a say in their covers and sometimes covers don’t convey the book’s content very well. But I think Antidote came out perfectly. What are your thoughts on the cover, and did you have any say on what you wanted and how it came out?
Taylor: I got really lucky. My cover designer told me to tell her my dream cover for “Antidote.” I did and she delivered above and beyond. I am so thankful that I had a say. It would be absolutely nothing without my cover designer, Ashley Ruggirello who listened to me and valued my input. I am extremely proud of the cover.
Brittany: Gabe was portrayed as an asshole with no feelings – although we all know better than that, since we saw him lighten up. I thought his behavior was his way of preventing himself from getting hurt – what do you do to make yourself look tougher; do you have any weaknesses?
Taylor: Gabe is much more complex than he seems at first. Let’s be honest, he still is an asshole, but he cares for his friends. You’re right though. Gabe wants to look tough at all times. Me? Making myself look tough?! I am probably the weakest person physically! Mentally/emotionally, I would say that I am very strong. I say I will do something, and I always do it. I am very determined and it makes me feel like I can do anything I set my mind to. My weakness is my family. I would do anything for them. (Also books. Books are my weakness. I buy way too many of them…)
Brittany: While Lena and Jared stopped in the gas station, Lena wanted some Twizzlers. What’s your go-to snack when you’re traveling?
Taylor: My go-to snack for traveling is a Take Five chocolate bar. I love chocolate. To answer number four, chocolate is my weakness too.
Brittany: For writers that are just starting out, having been there yourself, do you have any advice that you wish you had known before you started writing?
Taylor: I do have advice for my younger self and to all the writers just starting out.
1) Criticism is good. It is a friend, I promise you.
2) Read a lot of books. Pick out what makes them good and pick out what needs work. You can pick up on your mistakes while reading other work.
3) Write as much as you can and write because you love it.
4) Don’t be afraid of rejection. In fact, let it ignite your fire.
That’s it, guys! I really hope you give the Antidote trilogy a try! I’m so glad I did.
Do you think you could survive an apocalypse? What skills could you bring to the day of destruction/the end of the world? Leave a comment and let me know! I would love to hear what you think, 😀