Thursday, July 5, 2012

Blog Tour (Review): Riser by Becca C. Smith

Title: Riser
Release Date: June 10, 2010

Riser is a science fiction novel by Becca C. Smith that is aimed at a young adult audience. It tells the story of Chelsan DerĂ©e, a young girl who lives in the United States in the year 2320. Although aging has been cured, people (and other animate creatures) still die of other causes – and Chelsan can raise the dead. While she tries to discover herself and the source of her powers, she has to overcome betrayal, heartache, and figure out why someone wants her dead.

I’m not going to review this book under my new “guidelines” because I did not finish it. Before you skim off, I want you to know that Riser started strongly for me. I am a huge fan of science fiction, and this was a very fun read. Chelsan, who narrates the story, has a very bubbly voice and personality, and Becca C. Smith's writing is fantastic. I enjoyed learning about the world that Smith created in this futuristic America where over-population is a huge problem because of the age cure, trees are one of the most important resources, and immortality is government-sponsored. It had all of the right ingredients.

Like many young adult books centered around high school kids, there is this “mean girl” who makes the protagonist’s life a living Hell. In Riser, it was a super rich chick named Jill. She was a horrible little bitch, but most teenage girls are. (Sorry, I was one. I wasn’t a bully, but I was still awful. It’s the hormones.) I liked to dislike her. I couldn’t wait for her to get what was coming to her. (Aren’t nasty villains fun?) Unfortunately, for me, she got what was coming to her by getting punched in the face. By a guy. And not just any guy, but a guy Chelsan liked. I know violence happens in books, but none of the characters in the book saw a problem with this. Chelsan thought it was sweet that he would do that for her.

He. Punched. A. Girl. In. The. Face.

I kept reading a few chapters further in, but I just couldn’t stomach that character hanging around or Chelsan’s fascination with him. Yes, Jill was a full-fledged Missus Nasty-Pants, but she was still a girl. And guys shouldn’t punch girls in the face. Period.

Why do I care so much? I had a guy – my boyfriend – punch me in the face when I was a young adult. He knocked me out. I justified his behavior and stayed – not long, but longer than I should have. This is why I could not with a clear conscience recommend this book to anyone. I would hate to think that a girl may read this book and think it’s okay that a guy hit her because she was being a bitch. You know, some guys will tell you that’s why they did it. It. Is. Never. Okay. Got it? However, that’s not to say I will discourage anyone from reading Riser – it has all the makings of a great book. I just can’t bring myself to finish it or put it in someone else’s hand. But I’ll still read Becca C. Smith’s next novel. In fact, I’m looking forward to it.

About the Author

Becca C. Smith received her Film degree from Full Sail University and has worked in the Film and Television industry for most of her adult life.

Becca is the author of the teen horror/sci-fi novel, Riser. She is also the co-author of the teen graphic novel Ghost Whisperer: The Haunted and also wrote and illustrated Little Family Secrets, a graphic novel based on the true story of her great aunt who was famous for murdering her husband.

She currently lives in Los Angeles, CA with her husband and two cats Jack and Duke.

You can keep up with Becca on her Website, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received the book for free from the author through Innovative Online Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. It has in no way affected the outcome. All opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.


  1. As the author I just want to apologize for offending you! That wasn't my intent at all. And this isn't the first time the "Ryan punch" has come up.(And I'm sure it won't be the last!) The reasoning behind it was the fact that it was the future where everything is equal opportunity (like in Battlestar Galactica when Lee Adama (the hero) punches Kara (Starbuck) in the face) I thought I expressed my feelings clearly on how I feel about domestic abuse in the first chapter where Chelsan accidentally kills her abusive stepfather. I was hoping people would see "Ryan's punch" for what it was: punching a horrible bully that was blocking their way into the getaway car. I was wrong. In hindsight, maybe I should have had Nancy punch Jill. Regardless, I am truly sorry this offended you! I do not believe that a man should hit a woman, EVER. When I wrote it, I was so mad at Jill's character that I just wanted to punch her myself, lol.

  2. Hi Becca, thank you for stopping by to comment. Your book did not offend me - I was merely disturbed by Ryan's behavior. I appreciate your input. :-)

  3. Through much thought and consideration I've decided to change the part in my book where Ryan punches Jill. Needless to say, now instead of Ryan punching Jill, Nancy pushes Jill aside so they can get into the limo. I changed it because it wasn't an important part of the book and I didn't want it to be a continuing focus. The important part is the three characters get into the limo.

  4. Oh wow, that's so interesting to see that the scene was changed. I'm sort of undecided on the whole guys punching girls thing. When I say that, I don't mean that I approve of guys punching girls in the face, but I also don't like the idea that girls are super special snowflakes and so guys should only punch other guys in the face, because boys are stronger and all that nonsense. So, basically, my inner lady is all 'he did what?!?! hell to the no' and my inner feminist is all like at least he wasn't being sexist. I am confused. Haha.

    How about we try not punching people in the face?

    It is really cool that you had an impact.

    I also really like this cover; I like when indies stay simple, since the attempts at fanciness often make a bigger mess.


You are going to put words in my box?! *squeezes you* Now I shall stalk YOUR blog!