David Estes Fans and YA Book Lovers Unite! discussion

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Archives (Book of the Month) > May 2014 Book of the Month - Breeder

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Karen’s Library | 11320 comments Mod
Breeder Breeder (An Arrow's Flight Novel) by Casey Hays won as our May Book of the Month group pick!

You can discuss here! :) ENJOY!!


message 2: by David, Mr. Blue Eyes; He's the Best--Ain't no lie!! ;) (new)

David Estes (davidestesbooks) | 10713 comments Mod
Sounds great!


message 3: by Carol (new)

Carol (mssing) | 3 comments So Breeder is the BOTM here? Great! I read it when it first came out, and really enjoyed the whole premise of a community so set on preventing problems from the past from reoccurring, that they created their own set of horrific problems. That is such a typical human reaction. I am certainly looking forward to seeing where the series goes with the next books. Should be good.


message 4: by Angie (new)

Angie Taylor | 6 comments I'm so glad this book won! I love Kate! I can't wait to hear what readers think of her dilemma and tenacity to deal with it. I'm also extremely curious to see what and or how this's group is going to feel about the "slap" chapter.


message 5: by Linda (new)

Linda | 3 comments So happy BREEDER is the May BOTM. I read it as soon as it came out. Although, as I've said before, I am not a huge fan of dystopian novels, this book hooked me from the first page. I admire Kate's tenacity in sticking to her values, though it would be so easy to give in to peer pressure and the persecution of the community's leader. I'll be interested in others' perspectives as this discussion continues.


message 6: by Bookworm1951 (new)

Bookworm1951 | 2 comments I too enjoyed every aspect of this book. I especially like that Casey is such a visual author. And by that I mean that she describes everything so vividly that I had the feeling of actually being in the village. I could picture it as well as the pit & the characters really came alive. I am looking forward to The Archer. This book grabbed me from page one and left me hungry for more.


Karen’s Library | 11320 comments Mod
Wow, great feedback!! Sounds really good!!


Karen’s Library | 11320 comments Mod
I just got my copy! Woot woot! :)


message 9: by M. A. (new)

M. A. Hickman (mahickman) | 67 comments Oh my gosh Im so happy Breeder is a botm. I read it for a review and ended up loving it. It is now a favorite of mine and I can not wait for the second one.


message 10: by Casey (new)

Casey Hays | 25 comments Hi everybody! I'm the author of Breeder. I just wanted to pop in to say how delighted I am that my novel was selected for Book of the Month. I will be following this thread, and I look forward to your input more than you know. And ... if you have questions or you want to talk to me about the book, feel free! I love talking about Kate! Enjoy the read!


Karen’s Library | 11320 comments Mod
Hi Casey *waves madly* So glad to see you here! Thanks for saying hi. :)


message 12: by Casey (new)

Casey Hays | 25 comments Karen wrote: "Hi Casey *waves madly* So glad to see you here! Thanks for saying hi. :)"

Hi Karen! Thanks for having me *madly waving back* It's an honor!


message 13: by Carol (new)

Carol (mssing) | 3 comments So, Casey, can you say or is it a spoiler, are you setting up the series for Eden to not be the paradise Kate hopes/expects? I read several events/comments in Breeder that makes me think she will be disappointed.


message 14: by Casey (new)

Casey Hays | 25 comments Well, Carol... I will say The Archer has some interesting twists. And you will get a huge dose of what Eden is all about. There are some unexpected surprises on the horizon!


message 15: by Carol (new)

Carol (mssing) | 3 comments Hmmm, sounds intriguing. I can't wait to see what happens then.


message 16: by Cheer (new)

Cheer Papworth (cheerest) | 67 comments So I totally loved this book and I can't wait to read more from Casey Hays. Is anyone else wondering about "the slap"? It seemed a little risky and I'm not a fan of a boy hitting a girl, so I'd love to ask Casey about it.


Karen’s Library | 11320 comments Mod
Well, Casey?? Inquiring fans want to know! ;)


message 18: by Casey (new)

Casey Hays | 25 comments Boy, that slap has really ruffled some readers. I did write a blog a few weeks ago addressing it, so be sure and check it out on my goodreads blog page. One of my readers called it a "knee jerk" reaction, and I'd have to agree. Ian wasn't in his right mind at the time, and he just reacted without thinking. He's really not a bad guy, as the rest of the book will attest. He'd just had enough. As I write the sequel, I'm kind of falling in love with Ian just a little bit, and I hope my readers will as well. And many writers will agree that our characters kind of take on a mind of their own sometimes. I had no idea Ian was going to slap Kate until it happened. And I was like, "Oh, well okay then. I guess that's what's going to happen." Those moments happen a lot when I'm in that perfect writing zone, and I just kinda go with it.


message 19: by Cheer (new)

Cheer Papworth (cheerest) | 67 comments Ian's voice really feels like a genuine teenager. He seems much more impulsive and immature compared to Kate which is why his lashing out didn't surprise me. I still don't like it. It would be a deal breaker for me if I was Kate, although she's pretty fierce all on her own.


Karen’s Library | 11320 comments Mod
I'm about 20% in and so far I'm really enjoying this book! Kate does seem like she's fierce. I'm just starting to get to know Ian. I like his humor. The writing is very well done. And very visual like Bookworm noted. And the book is very well edited.

Casey, what was your inspiration for this series?


message 21: by Cheer (new)

Cheer Papworth (cheerest) | 67 comments Karen wrote: "I'm about 20% in and so far I'm really enjoying this book! Kate does seem like she's fierce. I'm just starting to get to know Ian. I like his humor. The writing is very well done. And very vis..."

Keep reading Karen. Initially Kate is naive, but that all changes.


Karen’s Library | 11320 comments Mod
I can't imagine growing up like that, where you're told nothing of the real world.


message 23: by Casey (new)

Casey Hays | 25 comments Karen wrote: "I'm about 20% in and so far I'm really enjoying this book! Kate does seem like she's fierce. I'm just starting to get to know Ian. I like his humor. The writing is very well done. And very vis..."

Well Karen, I'm really not sure where my ideas come from. I just have these crazy things running around inside my head and eventually, they come out in some organized fashion. But I will say that I'm very interested in portraying female characters who are passionate about preserving their innocence and purity to a degree, and this is what inspired me to create Kate. This is what she is doing, even if she doesn't realize it at first. I have a teenage daughter, and she reads my books. It's always been important for me to instill that purity in her, even when all of her friends are choosing to give themselves away. So, I strive to portray that kind of heroine to my young female readers. A strong and yet compassionate character who stands against the world's (or in this case, the community's) view of things, and preserves herself. One of my readers, Carol, mentioned once in another thread in a different group that Kate was doing what teenagers do: disobeying the adults. And she is, and she's right to so in this case in my opinion. So, that being said, I suppose what I want for my daughter is what inspires me to write these kinds of stories.


message 24: by Cheer (new)

Cheer Papworth (cheerest) | 67 comments Casey wrote: "Karen wrote: "I'm about 20% in and so far I'm really enjoying this book! Kate does seem like she's fierce. I'm just starting to get to know Ian. I like his humor. The writing is very well done...."

That's what I like about you Casey! We need more teens portrayed as being virtuous and the dystopian society you created in Breeder promotes, no forces, teens to procreate without love, commitment or even affection. I think your story is quite brilliant and unique.


message 25: by Cheer (new)

Cheer Papworth (cheerest) | 67 comments Karen wrote: "I can't imagine growing up like that, where you're told nothing of the real world."

Well there are many people that choose to be ignorant to the world around them, but in this case it wasn't a choice. It is hard to imagine not having a desire to explore beyond your village, just to know for yourself.


message 26: by Casey (last edited May 10, 2014 01:36PM) (new)

Casey Hays | 25 comments Cheer wrote: "Casey wrote: "Karen wrote: "I'm about 20% in and so far I'm really enjoying this book! Kate does seem like she's fierce. I'm just starting to get to know Ian. I like his humor. The writing is v..."


message 27: by Casey (new)

Casey Hays | 25 comments Cheer wrote: "Casey wrote: "Karen wrote: "I'm about 20% in and so far I'm really enjoying this book! Kate does seem like she's fierce. I'm just starting to get to know Ian. I like his humor. The writing is v..."

Cheer wrote: "Casey wrote: "Karen wrote: "I'm about 20% in and so far I'm really enjoying this book! Kate does seem like she's fierce. I'm just starting to get to know Ian. I like his humor. The writing is v..."

Cheer wrote: "Casey wrote: "Karen wrote: "I'm about 20% in and so far I'm really enjoying this book! Kate does seem like she's fierce. I'm just starting to get to know Ian. I like his humor. The writing is v..."

Thank you! That is a great compliment, and I appreciate it!


message 28: by Linda (new)

Linda | 3 comments I've enjoyed reading everyone's comments about BREEDER. I initially had trouble trusting Ian, I think because I was waiting for "the other shoe to fall." The "slap" probably inspired that mistrust. As the book continues,though, he doesn't repeat any violence towards Kate, but he does show those streaks of immaturity as Cheer mentioned. At the end John seems very emotional about his experiences in Eden, so I am anticipating that Eden isn't all it's cracked up to be. Can't wait to read the next book!


message 29: by Angie (new)

Angie Taylor | 6 comments I wasn't as bothered by the slap as I probably should have been. I think I liked Ian too much from the beginning. (No, I am not in an abusive marriage and can't think clearly.). I think I just got lost in the other details of the story that I read over that part.


message 30: by Jane (new)

Jane (janeinri) | 52 comments I read this for another book group recently, and I really enjoyed it. "The Slap" bothered me a little, but it was a knee jerk reaction by a scared, cornered teen boy, so I think that's why it wasn't a deal breaker for me. I like that the boys from Eden act like real teens - guys out on a camping trip, hanging and having fun. Both the guys and girls have a best friend - again, that struck me as true to life. I can't wait to read about Eden - type fast, Casey!


message 31: by Jenny (new)

Jenny Blaylock (jandjblaylock) | 1 comments I love the way the people reacted to the violence in their society by blaming someone, then putting someone "better" in control of society. I. Can't wait to see what happens with Kate in the next book. I love the way she stands for her values and principles.


message 32: by Casey (new)

Casey Hays | 25 comments I am so enjoying all of your input. I am diligently working on the sequel with hopes that it will be released in December or January. So Jane... I am working as fast as my imagination will let me! :)


Karen’s Library | 11320 comments Mod
I got to the "slap", but like Jane, it didn't really bother me. Kate's world is very harsh and the slap was really nothing compared to the beating she received shortly after or the death of her friend. Ian was left in a pit and the girl who told him she would rescue him disappeared on him for 2 weeks. I'd be lashing out at anyone I could too. And in the big picture, he really doesn't know Kate that well. At least not at this point. I'm about half way through. ;)


Karen’s Library | 11320 comments Mod
Almost finished!! :)


message 35: by Kaylani (last edited May 17, 2014 06:28PM) (new)

Kaylani (cityeclectics) | 297 comments I really didn't like Kate the first probably 20-40 pages of the book. The more I got to know Mona the more I fell in love with Kate. By the end I realized how much I am like Kate which maybe is why I didn't like her at first.

The end totally surprised me and I really can't wait for the sequel..

I also think it might have thrown me off that each chapter started with a bible verse. I was abused by the youth leadership at the church I grew up in and its part of the reason I am no longer a Christian.

It might have been a knee jerk reaction because some of those verses were used to fuel some of my mistreatment.

However, it was great and I am so glad I read it. :)


Karen’s Library | 11320 comments Mod
I didn't really enjoy the bible verses either, Kaylani. That's not what I look for in my fiction. :(

I didn't really connect too well w Kate. But I did like the concept of the story. Eden seems like it could be another bad place.


Karen’s Library | 11320 comments Mod
GREAT points, Marla!! :)


message 38: by Linda (new)

Linda | 3 comments Marla, your insights into the story are enlightening. I especially appreciated the analogy of Mona to other cult leaders such as Fred Phelps. I could see using the questions you posed as class discussion questions if the book were to be taught as a class novel in high school English.


message 39: by Angie (new)

Angie Taylor | 6 comments I love hearing everyone's comments. When I first read Breeder I had a problem with Kate being as strong as she turns out to be because I felt like the knowledge she was exposed to through books and the council's teachings were very limiting. I think it brings up the debate between nature and nurture. How much are we the people we are because of what we are exposed to, versus do we have something in our natural makeup that can determine our choices and actions? I love that Casey Hays has created a world where so many of her characters go with the flow without questioning, while Kate and a few others feel that life should and could be different and question and fight.


message 40: by Marla (last edited May 21, 2014 08:42PM) (new)

Marla (firstalibrarian) | 1 comments Spoiler Alert! I consider the relationship between Kate and Mona to be one of the key relationships in The Breeder. Mona controls everything and everyone in the Village. She is “the voice” of their beliefs about the Fates. She demands that everyone submit to the “will” of the Fates. Bad things happen to women such as Kate whose personal values differ from the Village’s central belief structure. Kate was born into this Village—something over which she had no control. Questions to consider: What would you do if you were in an organization headed by the likes of Mona and her council? What would you do if your personal values and beliefs were in absolute conflict with the dictates of the leader? What would you do if you were born into a family who were members of a religious organization where disagreement with the church leaders was forbidden?
In an attempt to break and manipulate Kate’s spirit, Mona tortures and threatens to kill Kate because she defies her “destiny” to be a Breeder. Kate knows Mona will kill those who disobey her. Mona also dangles a “carrot” in Kate’s face. Kate is to become the next leader of the Village. Question: Would you have the strength and will to continue to defy a leader with whom you disagree after being abused physically and emotionally by this person? Would you be able to turn your back on an enticing goal if it meant betraying your personal values?
Toward the end of the story, it is revealed that Mona has been lying to the Village members. Mona knew that they were not the only people left on Earth. She knew about Eden and the strength of the people of Eden. By capturing Ian and placing Kate with him to breed, she was attempting to take “fate” into her own hands. Mona has many of the characteristics of a cult leader [see: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/s... ] --leaders who adapt belief structures to fulfill their own ambitions—Warren Jeffs of the FLDS and Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church for example. How would you react if you discovered that the leader of an organization to which you belonged was such a person?
Kate accidentally kills Mona, and then she feels guilt for having done so—even though Mona treated her horribly! Kate states that Mona had her good qualities. Such can be said of most people—even bad leaders—they do have qualities that endear them to most of their followers. Kate has a bond with Mona that she seems to find difficult to break. Would you be able to confront and defy a manipulative leader—a person you have been told to look up to your whole life?
We know that Kate values love enough to stand between Mona and Ian, but she accidently kills Mona in the process of protecting Ian. She does not kill Mona purposefully. So…. just how strong are Kate’s personal values and beliefs? Is she truly willing to die for her beliefs? I look forward to reading the sequels to find out.


message 41: by Casey (new)

Casey Hays | 25 comments Hi everyone. I thought I'd pop in to say I'm so glad that the book has been enjoyable and enlightening to so many of you. I have appreciated all the comments, and it has been interesting to see the different perspectives of readers. The month is almost over, and I want to take the opportunity to say thank you for the votes and the great discussion that I've peeked in on from time to time. And I hope all of you will spread the word if you liked the book, and that you will pick up a copy of my sequel coming out near the end of the year. Thanks again! And please feel free to ask me any questions as you finish the read.


message 42: by Bonny Bon Bon (new)

Bonny Bon Bon (bonnybonbon) | 44 comments Just wanted to pop in and say I loved this book. Can't wait for the sequel.


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