Published March 5, 2013
Format: e-book - provided by the author in exchange for an honest review
Genre: new adult, dystopian
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble
Rating: 4 STARS
(From Goodreads) Intermix: to mix together, blend
North America, paragon of diversity, is gone. From its ashes, a new nation has arisen – Renatus – where the government segregates the surviving population into races, forbidding interracial marriage, mating, and love.
Eighteen-year-old Nazirah Nation is a pariah, an intermix, born of people from different races. When her parents are murdered in the name of justice, Nazirah grudgingly joins the growing rebellion fighting against the despotic government.
Overwhelmed with grief, consumed by guilt, Nazirah craves vengeance as a substitute for absolution. But on her journey to find the girl she once was, Nazirah must learn the hard way that nothing … no one … is purely black or white. Like her, every human is intermix, shades and hues of complex emotions. And those who can take everything away are also the ones who can give everything back.
Intermix Nation was a surprise. I'm not talking about a, "Oh, hey. That was good! What do you know?" type of surprise. It was more like a, "Holy crap, where has this author been my whole life?!" kind of surprise. Don't let the fact that M.P. Attardo is not only a first-time author, but a self-published author scare you away from this incredible book. This girl has some mad skillz.
In Intermix Nation, Nazirah Nation is having a tough time since her parents were murdered. She's just not passionate about the rebel cause like everyone else is. She's not passionate about anything anymore, really. Yet, when her parents were killed and her devastated face was plastered on news stations around Renatus, she instantly and unwillingly became the face of a movement. And now, her brother - the commander of the rebels - needs her to do a job for him. A job that requires her to work closely with the man who killed her parents and destroyed her world as she knew it.
Intermix Nation was a really passionate book. And, I'm not talking about the sexy passionate (although, there's some of that too!). It was more the passion you feel when you feel so strongly about something that it spurs you to action. Nazirah goes through a big change through the course of the book. In the beginning, she's actually the opposite of passionate. She's numb. She's been shattered. And now she has to share air with the man who caused those feelings. And, it's like that lights a fire in her.
Adamek Morgen, the guy - boy, really - who killed Nazirah's parents, is on a journey of his own. He's done horrible things to try and please his awful father, and it's done nothing but bring him pain. So, he is looking for redemption. Salvation. Forgiveness. Even though he doesn't think he's worthy of it. Interestingly, the one he really needs those things from is the one girl who can't stand to be in the same room as him.
With the backdrop of war, these two sad people have to make conscious, hard decisions in order to continue to put one foot in front of the other one. And, they do.
I saw a lot of influence from other popular dystopian books such as Divergent and The Hunger Games in Intermix Nation. Through those nods, though, a lot of uniqueness shows through, too. Attardo wrote a gripping, inspiring story about equality, love and forgiveness.
The romance was a slow-burn, but when it caught fire finally, WHEW! Was it hot! The side characters were alive. The world - Renatus - and all its territories were built up well and felt very solid. My only complaint is that I wished for a bit more at the end. The build up for the big battle was huge. When my Kindle registered 95% done and the battle wasn't here yet, I started to get nervous. But, then it did happen, and it was fast and furious. It would've been nice to see a bit more of that, and a bit more from Adamek and Nazirah at the end. *sigh* Guess that just means that Attardo will have to write a sequel.
Read on and check out an interview with M.P. Attardo, and then enter a giveaway for an e-copy of Intermix Nation so you can check out this great book for yourself.
Tell me a little about yourself. Do you have a day job? A pet? A favorite flavor of ice cream? Your biggest pet peeve?
Wow, this feels like a first date! My name is Mary. I’m twenty-three. I like coffee and long walks on the be…oh wait, wrong site. Basically, all you need to know about me is that I’m a loud New Yorker with even louder ideas. For my “real” job, I do executive search … which is a lot funner than it sounds! My burgeoning list of pet peeves includes people who snap instead of clap, getting tickled, and the word redonkulous. It’s redonkulous.
There’s a lot of messages in INTERMIX NATION – the strive for social equality, the need to give and receive forgiveness, the constant love of family, friends and country. Which issue resonated most with you while you were writing this book?
Forgiveness, most definitely, forgiveness. 100%. It is the idea that sparked the entire story, that made me even want to write. Everything else was secondary.
If you had to pick one of Renatus’ Territories in which to live, which would it be and why?
Definitely not Zima! Way too cold for me there! If I had to pick … probably Eridies, because I love the beach. But how can I resist the spiciness of the Deathlands? Maybe if I could live at Solomon’s …
Which of the characters in INTERMIX NATION was your favorite to write?
Writing Nazirah was my catharsis. For months, I ate, slept, breathed her. I almost felt myself turning into her, becoming snarkier, more impatient. I swear, for awhile, I couldn’t tell if I was writing her … or if she was writing me. But my heart, and my favorite character, still resides in Adamek Morgen.
What is your next project? Is there a chance that we’ll be taken back to Renatus to see what happens next with Nazirah, Adamek, Cato and the rest of the rebels (please say yes, please say yes…)?
Well, I definitely won’t say no! Right now, I’m starting to work on a completely different story … it’s just in the beginning stages so I’m being very coy about it at the moment (if only I had more time to write!). I go back and forth about whether or not I should write a sequel to Intermix Nation. I would want to make the follow-up just as strong, if not stronger, than the first book alone … and I’m not quite sure how to do that yet. But, I’m ruling nothing out!
What is the last good book you read?
Clearly, I love dystopias. I just finished re-reading Divergent, by Veronica Roth. That book is so fun!! Before that, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.
Did you have a particular playlist while writing INTERMIX NATION? If this book would have a theme song, what do you think it would be?
I LOVE this question! If Intermix Nation had a theme song, it would definitely, without a shadow of a doubt, be Bad Romance. I’m borderline obsessed with Lady GaGa! Runner up is Feel Again, OneRepublic.
About the Author
M.P. Attardo is a twenty-something, part-time writer, full-time daydreamer. She has a college degree ... is still trying to figure out what on earth to do with it. She loves amateur baseball commentating, heckling, and overindulging.
M.P. Attardo's Website * Twitter * Facebook
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