Friday, January 31, 2014

~ Removed ~

Today I'm thrilled to review a New Adult book I've recently had the pleasure of reading, and eager to share it with you, since it's a non-contemporary new adult (like mine.) Right now New Adult tends to conjure steamy chick-lit type stories, but it's so much more, as authors like S.J. Pajonas and myself are hoping to show readers. So let me tell you a little about Removed ...

Let me introduced this story in a few words:

futuristic,  dystopic,  romantic,  and  culture-rich.

Removed is a unique fusion of the modern and traditional. I relished the artful way this story was put together--from the martial arts and sword fighting, to the futuristic dome world of Japan--this elegantly told sci-fi tale is a treat for readers who crave a decadent dollop of culture atop their stories du jour.

20-year-old, Sanaa, is a sweet, but sassy protagonist. Naive in some ways, but far from ignorant. Throughout the story her personality is painted in such a way, that envisioning her is effortless.
And while Sanaa is a delightful character, by the end of the book, she kicks total butt. My kinda girl. Having been orphaned very young, she was raised by her aunties--another element I thought was done well by incorporating a diverse family unit that I'm positive will be even more common in the future--and is about to learn the secret of her parents and who she is meant to become. Her growth by the end of the story is one worth cheering for.

I don't want to give too much away, but I'll say the plot offers some nice surprises, while a side dish of romance is served alongside it. Which brings me to Sanaa's love interest, Jiro. *sigh* He was a refreshing change. Skilled, clever, and down to earth. Did I mention his crazy cool tattoos? Yep, he's got them.

Have you noticed all my food metaphors? That's because after reading this book I've got food on the brain! Pajonas' brief but thoughtful descriptions of the Japanese cuisine left my mouth watering. Bento box, anyone? Yum!

And the fabrics and fashion? *swoon* One of my favorite parts of visiting Asia (besides the food) is all the lush silks and detailed embroidery. Pajonas does not disappoint by leaving these out. There's no doubt the author knows the Japanese culture well, and weaves it in with the storytelling seamlessly.

Having been to Japan a few times myself, I can say from experience, the foreign culture takes a short adjustment period if you're from my side of the world. That's typical. All countries do. And similarly, there's a brief adjustment required in reading this story because of the rich language and traits, but that's part of what makes it so real and so grand. Once you get used to the combination of languages, you gain a genuine appreciation of the time and thought the author put into this story's authenticity.

And since Japan always seems to be on the cutting edge of technology, imagining it home to the future of society makes a whole lot of sense.

If you're looking for something unique and imaginative to read, you should give this first book in the Nogiku Series a try, and I'm quite certain you'll be glad you did.

  S. J. lives with her husband and two children just outside of New York City. She loves reading, writing, film, J- and K-dramas, knitting, and astrology. Her favorite author is Haruki Murakami and favorite book is The Wind-up Bird Chronicle.

You can find and contact her here:
- Website
- Facebook
- Twitter
- Goodreads
- Pinterest
- Flickr
- Instagram
- Tumblr

There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of the Nogiku series. These are the prizes you can win: Amazon Gift Cards, copies of REMOVED, and eBook copies of two fantastic Japanese books: JAPANESE SOUL COOKING and THE SAKE HANDBOOK. Both will be gifted through either Amazon (kindle) or Barnes&Noble (nook).
Here are the links to both books on Amazon:
Sake Handbook on amazon:
Japanese Soul Cooking:

You can enter the tour wide giveaway here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope you'll stop by SJ Pajonas' web haunts to say hello. She's super friendly and fun!

And for those who tried guessing my lie from Jamie Ayres' book release post, it was # 3. I do not have two tattoos, I only have one. All the rest are true. I cut my own hair because it's long and easy to manage. Anything more than a trim requires a professional. :) And I did pierce my own ear once in college just to see if I could do it. It took me like an hour to work the needle all the way through, but I still wear an earring in the hole to this day. And I LOVE to mow. I know, I'm crazy, right? But it's a great workout and theraputic. And I'm a firm believer that any woe can be cured by sweating it out with manual labor. :)


Misha Gericke said...

Sounds like a lovely read. I also agree that NA is a bit more than chick-lit. :-)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I remember seeing the cover for the second book, but hadn't seen the first one. Japan under a dome - that's probably not that far off!

spajonas said...

PK! Thanks so much for your review and being a part of my tour. I always warn people who read my book to have a Japanese restaurant nearby because they will certainly crave it. And I am addicted to buying kimonos and their accessories. I cannot get enough of the fabrics!

P.S. I just realized your blog was not in my bloglovin! Remedying that now.

P.P.S. Please come mow my lawn all summer ;)

Robin said...

Thank you for sharing this book review. It sounds very interesting.

I can't believe you mow your own lawn!!!! I was WRONG AGAIN.

William Kendall said...

An excellent review, PK!

SJ, congratulations to you on the release!

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I am loving NA. There are just some issues and situations that are best addressed with a wee bit more mature characters.

Leandra Wallace said...

I love those paper cranes- I could sit and stare at that cover all day long! Sounds like a fantastic 'out of the box' NA series. And I say 'out of the box' b/c so much NA seems to feature the same contemporary college setting. Different is good!

Cally Jackson said...

Thanks for sharing your review. Removed sounds right up my alley. Off to add it to my 'To Read' list. :-)

Anonymous said...

Great review! I'll have to check it out :-)

erica and christy said...

What a lovely review you did! I've yet to read a new adult book and I have no idea why!?! This is one I'll remember when I'm ready to take a break from revision mode. Thanks so much. My mom loves to mow too, so I get that, but I got my guess wrong! Christy

Donna Hole said...

Hi PK. Yep, the book does sound intriguing. I like romance as "a side dish" instead of the main course.


Morgan said...

Sooooo cool you've been to Japan multiple times. What a wonderful highlight here, PK. SJ's work looks FABULOUS... Love the title.

And grrrr... I guessed wrong! I should've gone with the tattoos! :)

Lexa Cain said...

The cover of book 2 is FABULOUS! I love the premise, too. Wishing SK much success! Thanks for the review PK!

(PK, if you have a chance, drop by my blog for a freebie to help indie-authors.)

Julie Musil said...

Oooh, this book sounds so good! I'm reading Stina's book right now…the first NA I've ever read!

By the way, I agree with you about manual labor. It's a great way to work things out!

SA Larsenッ said...

This definitely sounds unique. I don't think I've ever read a story with Japan as the setting. Intriquing. I love the cover, too!

Carrie-Anne said...

I love Japanese literature, both historical and contemporary. I'd love to find more on the shelves. When my queue is finally empty or simmering down, I'm planning to write some Japanese historicals.

Crystal Collier said...

TBR... This has to stop. All theses amazing books to read... That or time has to stop. I'm happy with either one. Want to join me in petitioning the universe?

JJ said...

Japan is on my list. I have not traveled Asia extensively, and it is about time.