Review: Shudder by Samantha Durante (Blog Tour & Giveaway)

Posted July 22nd, 2013 in Blog Tour, book review, Giveaway / 12 comments



Stitch Trilogy #2

by Samantha Durante

Publisher: Self-Published (June 2013)
Genre: Dystopia, Post-Apocalyptic, New Adult, Young Adult
Format: Paperback (348 pages)
Source: From author for honest review
Purchase: Amazon Print | Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble
Rating: ★★★☆☆ ( 3 stars)

It’s only been three days, and already everything is different.

Paragon is behind her, but somehow Alessa’s life may actually have gotten worse. In a wrenching twist of fate, she traded the safety and companionship of her sister for that of her true love, losing a vital partner she’d counted on for the ordeal ahead. Her comfortable university life is but a distant memory, as she faces the prospect of surviving a bleak winter on the meager remains of a ravaged world. And if she’d thought she’d tasted fear upon seeing a ghost, she was wrong; now she’s discovering new depths of terror while being hunted by a deadly virus and a terrifying pack of superhuman creatures thirsting for blood.

And then there are the visions.

The memory-altering “stitch” unlocked something in Alessa’s mind, and now she can’t shake the constant flood of alien feelings ransacking her emotions. Haunting memories of an old flame are driving a deep and painful rift into her once-secure relationship. And a series of staggering revelations about the treacherous Engineers – and the bone-chilling deceit shrouding her world’s sorry history – will soon leave Alessa reeling…

The second installment in the electrifying Stitch Trilogy, Shudder follows Samantha Durante’s shocking and innovative debut with a heart-pounding, paranormal-dusted dystopian adventure sure to keep the pages turning.

At A Glance
Shudder was definitely better than Stitch. And though I was bored in the beginning, the second half of the book really took off.

The Good
Durante has a way of keeping her readers on their toes. I was blown away by the twists and turns in this book. The level of surprises just kept getting higher and higher as we learned more about the virus that killed billions of people, the Engineers overall game plan, and how the whole mess came to be.

Meeting the Engineers was the best part of this book. They are devious as they are brilliant. They truly believe in their cause, even when it means killing and torturing people. They think they are doing the right thing. It’s delusion at it’s finest. But they put up a pretty good front and I can easily see why so many people follow their lead. I can’t wait to watch their downfall though. Hint, hint, Durante.

I felt so bad for Alessa in this book. She has lost so much and has worked so hard for a cause she believes in, but I can tell she is getting tired. Tired of the death, pain, and fighting. If it wasn’t for Isaac, I think she might have given up by now. Which doesn’t make her a bad person. She deserves a break, she deserves to worry about herself and not every other human being. So much is expected of her, and it has taken its toll. But she is a trooper. She keeps chugging along, trying to save the world from maniacal geniuses who think they know what’s best for the world.

Isaac is Alessa’s rock this time around. He can tell their journey is messing her up. She is discovering that she has supernatural abilities that neither one understands and Isaac tries so hard to comfort her despite his confusion. Isaac really grows in this book. When Alessa falters, he is right there to take charge. He is becoming stronger and more of a leader.

We get to experience a lot of differing POVs in Shudder. Along with Alessa and Isaac, we also get into the heads of the Engineers, Nikhil from book one, and the mysterious Phoenix (that one will have to be a surprise for you). The whole Phoenix plotline is just creepy and scary. That poor, poor person. Their lives are about to be majorly FUBARed.

The ending leaves us with a lot to be resolved. Bad things are coming and I just don’t know if our group is going to be ready for it. But I’m hopeful.

The Bad
I don’t know what it is but when it comes to the Stitch Trilogy, it just takes me forever to get into them. Shudder was more exciting than Stitch, but it still had a beginning that seemed to drag on forever.

Some of why I didn’t like this book is based off my emotions. I found myself so depressed by the whole story. It seems like when the resistance takes one step forward, the bad guys make them take two steps back. At this point, everything feels hopeless, and I was so sad when I finished the book that it took some time for me to recover.

Some of the revelations and plans made in this book just seemed far-fetched.

The Snuggly
Alessa and Isaac really become close this time around. We didn’t get to see them together that much in Stitch, but in Shudder they are rarely separated. They go through rough patches but they come out stronger in the end.

There is non-descriptive sexual content. Very YA-ish.

Final Thoughts
I still want to read the next book in the trilogy, I just think I need to prepare myself for the sadness that comes along with this story. I think the twists and many interesting characters keep this book going enough to recommend it to many of you looking for a good dystopian. So recommended overall.

The spine-chilling cry threw every reflex in Isaac’s body into overdrive, but for some reason he couldn’t fathom, Alessa was still standing there, wide-eyed and mouth agape.
It wasn’t like her to freeze under pressure, and that realization scared Isaac more than anything. If Alessa wasn’t reacting, something was seriously, seriously wrong.

Isaac shook his head. “I can’t,” he coughed. “I can’t leave.” The words came out in a rush, the mucus bubbling in his chest.
“You can,” Alessa wept, releasing him with finality. Her voice a coarse whisper, she promised once again, “You can.”

Check out my review of the first book of the trilogy, Stitch. Stitch is only $0.99 right now on Amazon.

Author Bio
Samantha Durante lives in Westchester County, New York with her husband, Sudeep, and her cat, Gio. Formerly an engineer at Microsoft, Samantha left the world of software in 2010 to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams and a lifelong love of writing. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology, Samantha is currently working full time for her company Medley Media Associates as a freelance business writer and communications consultant. The Stitch Trilogy is her debut series. Learn more about Samantha at

Twitter: @SamanthaDurante | Hashtag suggestions: #Stitch, #StitchTrilogy, #Shudder

LibraryThing: Stitch | Shudder | Author Samantha Durante

Enter the giveaway below provided by the author for a chance to win an ebook of Shudder.

Blog Tour, book review, Giveaway

, , , , , , , ,

12 Responses to “Review: Shudder by Samantha Durante (Blog Tour & Giveaway)”

    • Jennifer Bielman

      You are the one that inspired me to read this series and become part of the blog tour. I know you really like these books. I can’t wait for the third book. 🙂

  1. Crystal Collier

    That’s how I felt about the Chemical Garden series. I loved the books, and I had to find out what happened to the characters, but they made me SO sad! =( This sounds like a series I’d adore…but if it’s that sad, I’d better wait until all 3 books are out–so I don’t get sucked into a pit of despair. 😉

    • Jennifer Bielman

      LOL, that’s a good idea. Just make sure to have all the books so that when you read them, at least you will have the happy ending on the last book.

      I never heard of Chemical Garden but it scares me now. lol.

  2. Jaclyn Canada

    That’s great that this one was more exciting overall than the first one. I’m sorry that it was still a tad depressing and slow, but it sounds like the twists made up for it. Fantastic review! Jaclyn @ JC’s Book Haven.

  3. Neyra

    I so agree! Both books in this trilogy have proven to be captivating reads but their slow build up will throw off many readers. I’m still looking forward to book three though and recommend it as well. I’m glad you enjoyed it far better than Stitch (:

  4. Elisa

    I so know what you mean about being depressed while reading a book. It makes my stars lower too.
    I enjoyed Stitch and am excited to read the rest of their story!

Leave a Reply