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The Ark ~ Review with Excerpt

The Ark
By Laura Liddell Nolen

There are just hours left all life on Earth ends.  An meteor is on a collision course with Earth and destruction is expected to be total and complete.

Some will survive, but only a chosen few who will leave Earth behind forever. Char is not one of the favored few.  She's has a record and is still locked-up. But Char is nothing if not resourceful and she's determined to spend her last hours of life on Earth free.  And if at all possible she is going to make it to one of the OPTs and one of the five ARKs.

After all a world of promised peace and new beginnings is just what she needs.  A chance to prove that she has changed.  But can she get the chance?

You know the saying about something seeming too good to be true, well Char is about to discover just how true that is...

The Ark is an intriguing story.  If you were offered the chance to avoid the total destruction of all you by giving up all you knew, would you take it?  Family and friends left behind, guaranteed to die mere hours after you left.  Could you live with it based on a promise that you would be among the few to rebuild civilization and the human race on a distant world.  A world promised to be free of weapons and war.  A new world, a better world based on what we have learned.  Would you believe it as truth or would you fear it to be a lie?

The choice is yours what life will you choose?

Teens and fans of YA, dystopian, and science fiction will find this an entertaining and enjoyable book.  A perfect summer afternoon escape.

I was provided a copy of this book through PUYB in exchange for my honest review and tour participation.

About the Author:

Laura Liddell Nolen grew up in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where she spent lots of time playing make-believe with her two younger brothers. They supplemented their own stories with a steady diet of space- and superhero-themed movies, books, and television. The daughter of a comic book collector, she learned how to handle old comics at an early age, a skill she’s inordinately proud of to this day.

Laura began work on her first novel, The Ark, in 2012, following the birth of her daughter Ava, a tiny rebel and a sweetheart on whom the novel’s main character is loosely based. Completion of The Ark was made possible in part due to an SCBWI Work-in-Progress Award.

Laura loves coffee, dogs, and making lists. She has a degree in French and a license to practice law, but both are frozen in carbonite at present. She lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband and two young children, and their dog Miley, who is a very good girl.

For More Information:

Visit Laura Liddell Nolen’s website.
Connect with Laura on Facebook and Twitter
Find out more about Laura at Goodreads.
Visit Laura’s blog.

About the Book:
Title: The Ark
Author: Laura Liddell Nolen
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 239
Genre: YA Scifi
Format: Paperback/Kindle/Nook

There’s a meteor headed for Earth, and there is only one way to survive.
It’s the final days of earth, and sixteen-year-old Char is right where she belongs: in
prison. With her criminal record, she doesn’t qualify for a place on an Ark, one of the
five massive bioships designed to protect earth’s survivors during the meteor strike that
looks set to destroy the planet. Only a select few will be saved – like her mom, dad, and
brother – all of whom have long since turned their backs on Char.

If she ever wants to redeem herself, Char must use all the tricks of the trade to swindle
her way into outer space, where she hopes to reunite with her family, regardless of
whether they actually ever want to see her again, or not . . .

For More Information:
The Ark is available at Amazon.
Pick up your copy at Barnes and Noble.
Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
Read Chapter One here.

Book Excerpt:

On the last day of Earth, I couldn’t find my hairbrush. That probably seems like a silly
thing to worry about, what with the imminent destruction of, well, everything, but my
mom was always after me about my usual ratty ponytail. Normally, I’d ignore her. Or, if I
were having a really bad day, I’d tell her what she could do with her hairbrush. But like I
said, it was the last day of Earth. And I figured, since it was the last time she’d ever see
me, I wanted it to go smoothly. I wanted her to remember me, if not fondly, then at least
without anger.

A girl can dream.

I slipped out of my cell as soon as the door swung open. I’d done the same every
day for the past month, and my family had yet to show up. Their OPT—Off-Planet
Transport—took off in eighteen hours, so they still had time. Barely. I couldn’t blame
them if they didn’t come. It wasn’t hard to imagine that they’d rather escape to the stars
without so much as a backward glance at me, their big disappointment. Even my father’s
influence couldn’t persuade the government to give me a spot on an OPT.

Turns out, when humankind is deciding which of its children to save, the last
place it looks is in prison.

But I was pretty sure they’d come. West had said as much in his last transmission.
The thought of my younger brother actually halted me mid-step, like one of those
punches in the gut where you can’t breathe for a few seconds.

“Looking for something?” The lazy drawl floated out of the nearest cell.

Against my better instincts, I turned to see Cassa lying on her bunk, her arm
draped across Kip. My Kip. Or at least, my ex-Kip. Whatever. In twenty-two hours, I
wouldn’t have to think about him anymore.

See? Silver lining. And they called me a perpetual pessimist at my last psych

They barely fit next to each other on the flimsy mattress, but that wasn’t the weird
part. The guys’ ward was separated by a substantial metal wall. We were kept apart
during evening hours, for obvious reasons. Not that anyone cared anymore. The med staff
had been the first to go, followed by the cleaning crew, followed by the kitchen crew. To
show you where girls like me fell on the government’s list of priorities, there was still a
skeleton crew of guards lurking around, despite the fact that I hadn’t had a real meal for
going on a week. The guards would be gone soon, too, and then there’d be no one in here
but us chickens.

I figured either Kip had a key, or the guards had left already. A key could be
useful. My curiosity got the best of me. “How’d he get in here before the first bell?”

He cocked an eyebrow. “I got some tricks you ain’t seen, babe. Why don’t you
join us? End of the world and all.”

The guards were gone, then. I felt a small trill of anxiety deep in my chest. If the
guards were gone, my family was even less likely to show. But it was never smart to
show fear. “The Pinball could be headed straight for this building, and I still wouldn’t be
desperate enough to touch you. Oh, wait. Guess you don’t have to take my word for it.”
I turned to leave, but he continued. “Now is that any way to treat your dear ole
partners? Be nice or I won’t give you back your stuff.”

“Ugh, you were in my room?” I flexed my shoulder blades, making sure my gun
was still tightly secured between them.

“Don’t worry, Char. I didn’t handle the merchandise. Didn’t want to wake you up.
Just lifted me a few keepsakes.” He pronounced my name the way I like: Char, as in
charred. Something that got burned.

I wasn’t sure what Kip and Cassa were planning, but I knew I wouldn’t like it.

They were thieves and liars. I would know. I used to be one of them. That was before the
last job, when Cassa had attacked an elderly man in the home we were robbing. She’d
kicked him until he stopped fighting back. Kip had called her off after a few licks, but I
just stood there, staring. The old man looked at me, like right at me, while we made our
getaway, and my stomach twisted into a knot so tight that I tasted bile. That was the
moment I knew I wanted out.

But by then, no one believed me. Or, if they did, no one cared. Except for Kip and
Cassa, of course. They’d taken the news pretty hard, to put it lightly.

If I lunged for the box, I could probably grab my hairbrush and get out of there. I
wouldn’t have time for more than that. Then again, I’d be doing exactly what they
expected, and I didn’t have time for delays. My family could be in the commissary any
second now.

“Ahem. Seeing as it’s your last day of life, I might let you have one thing back,”
said Kip.

“In exchange for what?”

“I’m hurt. All our time together, and you still don’t believe in my inherent
generosity. But now that you mention it, I’ve got a hankering for some peanut butter

“Sorry, Kip. I’m fresh out of food. Kinda like everyone else.”

“Nice try, Charrr.” He drew my name out, as though tasting it. “I saw them
yesterday. Figured you were hiding them under your pillow when I couldn’t find them
last night.”

“You figured wrong.”

All I could think about was my brother’s face. And how I had this one last chance
to apologize to my parents, for everything. I shrugged and turned to leave.