Sep 30, 2013

Author Playlist + Book Review: Tainted - A.E. Rought

Hey, guys! Today I have A.E. Rought sharing her playlist for Tainted, the sequel to Broken, and let me tell you: she has fabulous taste in music! All of these songs went straight to my music player. Oh, and stick around for my review, mmkay? ;D


Writing has always been dependent on music, for me. The stories just don’t flow until I have the right auditory backdrop. TAINTED was one of the most difficult books to find the right ‘voice’ for. Oh, I knew Alex and what he sounded like, but not the musical tapestry his story needed.

I was moody, had been poking TAINTED’s story outline with a stick and waiting for it to strike back, when I decided to play some tunes on Youtube. It started out with Godsmack, my go-to moody music, and then I clicked on one of the recommended videos on the right hand side.

One tune led to another, and I found myself listening to “Still Broken,” by Plan Three.

Something in my writer side clicked into place, and started resonating with that sound. I played every Plan Three tune I could find and four of them ended up in TAINTED’s playlist: “Still Broken,” “Brush it Off,” “Be Still My Heart,” and “Wake Up.” That last song, “Wake Up” fits the feel of Chapter Nine so well, I might have to play it just to FEEL it again.

I put those tunes into my YA playlist on Spotify, and started a radio station based on it. This dark, moody song “Sad, Dead Me,” but Von Benzo came on. Perfect tone, pacing, all of it, so I added it to the playlist. Somehow, I found “Landing in London,” by Three Doors Down and Bob Seger, another dark, smoky sounding tune with that sad kind of ache threading all the new songs together. Those two went to the top of the playlist pretty quick. “Echo,” by Jason Walker found its way in. “Off a Cliff,” joined the group of The Spill Canvas songs already in the playlist.

There’s plenty of Lifehouse, Shinedown, Ashes Remain, and one of my absolute favorites for YA writing, Burn Season. Their song “Perfect,” is well... pretty perfect for writing romance scenes. So is Ed Sheeran’s “Kiss Me.” But, for those darker moments of doubt for Alex, “Breaking Inside” by Shinedown needed to be played. Some of those lyrics could come from Alex, especially the opening lines of the chorus: I don't want to live, To waste another day, Underneath the shadow of mistakes I made...

One last song I HAVE to mention? “Bring Me To Life” by Evanescence.

If you read the book, you will totally understand.

And if you’re on Spotify, you can check out the playlist here.


Title: Tainted (Broken #2)
Author: A.E. Rought
Release Date: October 1st 2013
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: NetGalley
Alex Franks believes the madness is behind them. With Ascension Labs under his direction and the forces threatening Emma's life overcome, they have a chance at a normal life, and keeping his secrets safely buried. But a shadow rises from Alex’s past, and she wants him back. Criminally brilliant, Hailey Westmore will stop at nothing to claim the boy she was meant to be with.
Without warning, Emma Gentry finds she cannot trust anything. Not her mind, her memory, not even herself. Tragic events and unexpected deaths stalk Alex and Emma, testing them in ways they would never imagine, and may not survive. Alex carries a new secret, and a horrifying guilt that Hailey uses to her advantage.
Emma’s life and sanity hang in the balance, and Alex may have created a monster...
It's been just a month shy of a year since I read Broken, but the premise of that book is not something that's easily forgotten. I finished that one thinking, "so that's it", but lo and behold, we have a sequel! If you haven't read Broken, let me warn you that it's about to get a tad bit spoiler-y in here, so read at your own risk. I'll keep them to a minimum, I promise.

Now, I did say that it was easy to remember the events in Broken, but I meant the main ones—it was the little ones that stumped me. A re-read would have made Tainted's start less confusing. Still, Alex's perspective was so much more enjoyable than Emma's and his voice just hooked me. It was distinctly male, but it had that sense of deep emotion coupled with confusion, thanks to Daniel sort of living inside him. There was still no scientific explanation as to how that double existence came to be after the Lazarus Procedure, as they named it in this second book, but then, there's no scientific explanation as to the power of love, either.

Aside from being less mentally-unstable—seriously, that's what I remember of Emma's thoughts lol—Alex's perspective also gave more insight into Ascension Labs and the horrors hidden in it, particularly the Procedure and how it worked in bringing someone back to life. Not pretty, I tell you. What's pretty though was how much this book shocked me. All the crazy, unexpected turns that Tainted took made me gasp, internally and, at times, out loud.

I hadn't known how A.E. Rought could double the mystery and suspense in Broken, but she did. She never gave her characters any break and kept me guessing as to who their real enemy was. Tainted definitely outdid the first book and you know what? I could use another book in this series!

MY FAVORITE PART was when the "and Alex may have created a monster..." part of the blurb was clarified. That was one of my gasp-out-loud moments.


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