Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Disintegrate Blog Tour!

Emily just wanted a normal life: a boyfriend, college, two parents who loved her. Instead, her dad disappeared when she was fourteen and her life at college is anything but ordinary. When you can manipulate matter like putty and you have no idea why, how do you pretend to be like everyone else? What happens when you meet a guy who has the same powers? Do you trust him to help you find the answers you need? Emily desperately wants to believe that Jax can help, but the stakes grow higher than she’d ever expected: someone is after them and they’re not afraid to use violence to get what they want.


"I … think you’ve got the wrong impression of the two of us," she mumbled. "We’re just friends." And that’s all we’ll ever be, Emily told herself.

The woman shook her head. "No. I don’t think I do." She wiped at the bar, nodding once as though making up her mind. "He’s a good kid." She moved off, pouring a beer as she made her way down to the other end of the bar.
Emily Blinked, confused by the bartender’s confidence. Jax sang on, oblivious to the conversation they were having about him only a few feet away.
And then the wall by the door exploded.
Emily froze for a split second while the bartender looked stupidly at the mess, then rushed for the stage, shoving through the few people beginning to realize something was very, very wrong. Jax hadn’t reacted and her first instinct was to get him to safety. She knew they were there for her, and she also knew they wouldn’t hesitate to destroy anyone near her in an effort to get to her. The best thing to do was get out.
Heart pounding, she grabbed him by the sleeve and dragged him down and off the stage. His guitar strap broke and the instrument hit the floor with a harsh twang. She winced, knowing it was his dad’s guitar, and important to Jax, but she didn’t stop. She couldn’t afford to do anything about it. Her skin was jumping and buzzing and she yanked—
Jax fell over her, hands raised, and Emily chanced a look back. There were three of them, huge and intent. Their faces were covered. One had a shotgun, oh God…

"Get down!" Jax yelled, shoving her over.
She ignored him, pulling until he had no choice but to follow. It was that or step on her. He still had his hands up. Something went boom—the gun, she thought—and then the staccato crunch of wood splintering around her bled through her panic. She shoved Jax ahead of her, hard. The door behind the stage hung ajar, and she stumbled for it, skin prickling as static arced around her fingers.
"Get back!" she panted, and Jax tripped. She tried to pull him up, but his muscular frame was too much for her thin frame. "Jax, you’ve gotta get up."
He stared at her from the floor, dazed. A trickle of blood ran from a cut near his eye.
Was he hit? "Jax, get up!" she hissed.

Finally, he shoved off from the floor and staggered to his feet, falling against her. Not shot then, she thought, relieved. He wouldn’t be standing if he’d been seriously injured.
She tugged him down the dark hallway. When she looked back, she couldn’t believe they hadn’t been followed. Or at least not yet. Swallowing hard, she grabbed his hand, ignoring the electric tingle of his skin, and dragged him into the wall. He oofed as his head hit the paneling, but she had no time to worry about it. She pressed her fingers to the dirty surface and pushed, concentrating on dissolving the bonds of matter in her body and his. It wasn’t easy. She had to sort of push her energy into it, harder than she’d ever had to before. It felt a little like juggling upside down. She needed to hang onto him and release everything else, simultaneously. She had to keep his hand solid in hers while phasing their bodies out. For a moment, she thought she would fail or go mad, and then something clicked—
Thank God.
—her hands sank into the wall. She shuddered, hating the sticky feel of molecules sliding into her like this. One finger, one hand, no problem, but her entire body? That was creepy and weird. What she was doing wasn’t natural. Humans weren’t supposed to be able to shove pieces of themselves into pieces of other stuff, and here she was trying to shove her entire body, and Jax’s too, into the filthy inside of a bar wall. She almost sobbed … it was taking too long, they were coming—
—and then Jax’s fingers tightened around hers and it felt like electricity shooting into her bones. He gasped and then they fell into the wall together, their matter pressed into and within the wood and concrete and insulation.
Nausea rose. She fought it down. No time for that, she snarled to herself. No damn space for barfing. She gripped Jax’s hand, trying to keep still and quiet and think while also somehow conveying to him the need for calm. He could freak out later.
And he would, she knew. They were completely hidden, existing half in reality and half in the shadowy space between atoms that she’d been able to manipulate since forever. He would want to know how she did it. He would want do know why she’d dragged him into this.
A short, sharp boom echoed weirdly through her. They’d made it to the hall, though she couldn’t see them. She couldn’t see anything. Her eyes didn’t work inside the wall. Jax’s iron-willed calm filtered slowly through her veins, as if she could feel his emotions. God, this was completely horrible, she thought, willing the men to just go away. She needed to run—
—and then there was silence. She didn’t know how long it had been quiet, but Jax was pulling at her. She forced herself to think move and let go and enough and she stepped forward and out—
—and they fell into the hall, coughing. She stifled a gag, her right hand burning from the rough flooring. She’d just caught herself before her head hit the opposite wall.
"Jesus, what—" Jax choked, turning to her. He wouldn’t let go of her hand.
"We need to see if they’re gone," she managed, rubbing her face on her shoulder. Her knees hurt. She felt filthy, as if she’d ingested the dirt that penetrated every portion of the wall.
Jax leaned down and put his free hand flat on the floor. He closed his eyes.
Emily stared. What was he doing?
A second later he shook his head. "Everyone is gone." He grimaced. "Or dead."
"How—" she began to ask, but then the skin on her hand prickled, the one he still held. Jax looked at her arm. She looked at his palm. Tiny sparks arced between them, silver stars that made no sense. She snatched her hand away.
"You pulled me into the wall," Jax said.
She licked her lips and nodded.

Instead of freaking out, he smiled shakily. "I would’ve let the shot go through me. I never thought of hiding."
Emily’s gut seized. "What are you talking about?"
He slapped a hand on the wall. As she watched, his fingers slid into it and he tensed. Then he grunted and twisted and the next thing she knew, splinters were flying past his chest. There was a fist-sized hole where his hand had gone in, but all the edges bowed out. It looked like someone had punched the wall … from the inside.
She touched a finger to it, and then touched him. He didn’t move, even when the silver sparks flared for a brief moment before dying down.

"You’re like me," she whispered, completely shocked. How? Why? She thought of all the times she’d wished she knew someone like her growing up, and here he was. Standing in front of her when she least expected it. She’d given up hope she’d ever meet another person like her.
"There was something about you, from that first night," he said, rubbing his face. "My skin itched the moment you walked in." He looked at her, brown eyes luminous in the dim hallway. He looked like an angel.
She pushed her hair out of her eyes. "Does it still itch?"
He lifted a shoulder. "Sometimes."
"Mine too."
He nodded.
"I don’t understand how this is possible." Emily felt a sudden and overwhelming exhaustion. What were they going to do?
He shrugged. "First thing we need to do is get out of here."
She looked back toward the bar. The lights were on, but everything was quiet. She didn’t want to go back that way. She really, really didn’t.
"I need to check," he said quietly.
Emily nodded, knowing it was the right thing to do, and stood up. Together, they made their way down the hall. Splinters, metal shot, and broken glass crunched underfoot. She was glad she’d worn her boots. She inched along behind Jax, eyes on his back. His t-shirt had holes in it. She could tell he’d been cut, but he didn’t seem to notice. He walked slowly into the room, pausing to take in the damage.
Emily sucked in a sharp gasp when she peered around his shoulder. The place was trashed. The wall near the door was just … missing. They’d blasted a huge hole in it. Pieces of sheetrock, insulation, and wood hung in chunks around the edges. Jax walked into the room slowly, stooping to pick up his guitar. Miraculously, it seemed all right.
"There’s a nick in the side, but I think it’s okay," he murmured.
Emily wasn’t looking at him. Near the bar, the body of the woman who’d warned her away from Jax lay on the floor. He glanced up and saw where she was looking. He cursed and sprinted over when he saw the woman on the floor.
"Is she dead?" Emily was almost afraid to ask.
He reached out a hand, touched a finger to her hair. "Yeah." He bowed his head. "Shit." Emily swallowed, on the verge of tears. The woman’s chest was messed up. It wasn’t hard to guess what had killed her.
This is my fault, Emily thought, sick to her stomach. "We need to go," she said aloud, desperate to get away. She knew Jax was hurting, but there was nothing either of them could do now. She looked at the body, and then at Jax. His shoulders were hunched and he had his head down. Emily steeled herself and walked over, putting a careful hand on his back. He didn’t wince away from her, thankfully. The electric tingle between them was muted. "You knew her well?"
"No, not really. But she was nice to me." His voice was low. Regretful.
Emily cleared her throat, forcing back everything she couldn’t afford to feel right now. "She was nice to me, too."
"Yeah," Jax said. He stood up. "Thank God Joe had tonight off ."
"The sound guy," Jax said, grabbing his leather jacket from the bar. It seemed to have escaped the worst of the carnage. He shook out the dust and put it on. "He’s the one who got me the gig here. He’s a good guy."
Emily tensed. "I hear sirens."
Jax frowned. "We need to be gone, like, yesterday."
She nodded and zipped her jacket, knowing the thin denim wouldn’t be enough to keep her warm. "We should go out the back."
"My car’s in the alley," Jax said, moving faster. He stopped for his guitar, shoving it into its battered case.
She grabbed his jacket, slowing him down. "You have a car?" She wished she’d known. She would’ve begged a ride instead of meeting him here. She’d had to take a bus, then walk the rest of the way.
"It’s junk, but it runs." He shoved open the rear door.
Emily looked around, wondering where the men had gone. "I don’t see anyone." The lights from the street barely cut through the dark. A dumpster loomed to her left. High above, the moon peered down at them, cold and indifferent. Emily shivered.
"There’s my car," Jax said, pointing. "We should probably hurry."
She squinted. Jax was already moving, heading for what she’d thought was another twisted and rusty dumpster. "That’s your car?"
"Hey, don’t knock it. It runs. The engine is good." He unlocked it, tossing his instrument into the back. He held the door for her.
She frowned, wondering why he was wasting time with her door when he could’ve already been starting the car. "I could’ve got in without help," she said, sliding into the passenger’s seat.
"Yeah, but you wouldn’t have been able to shut the door. The latch is messed up on this side." With those words he slammed it closed, wedging a hip against it to get the handle to engage.
When he got in the driver’s seat, she tapped a finger on his arm. "Why didn’t you just … you know." She waved her hand in the air, trying to convey what she meant. She didn’t have words for what she could do. She didn’t have a clue how to talk about it with him, out loud.
He snorted. "Yeah, I guess I could’ve, but this way I don’t have to worry about anyone trying to get in that side."
She looked around the car doubtfully. Why would anyone bother?
He laughed grimly. "I know, I know, it’s a hunk of junk, but whatever. Why bother to fix it? I almost never have anyone else in the car with me." He started the engine. It rumbled reassuringly.
Emily glanced behind them. "We need to go." The door from the bar was ajar and bright lights suddenly clicked on inside. "They’re coming."

"And we’re out of here," Jax muttered. The car lurched forward.
My Review:
Full of action and non stop suspense, Disintegrate was an intense read.
This short read kept me entertained and left me wanting to read more. The only thing I found confusing was toward the end of the book, Jaxs' name became Jasper and then went back to Jax. Overall, I really liked this book and I recommend it to those who like a sci-fi/dystopian type of book.

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About Christine:


Christine Klocek-Lim spends most of her time daydreaming—which isn’t much different from what she did as a girl in northeast Pennsylvania, as a college student in Pittsburgh, as a twenty-something technical writer in New York City, and as a young mother in suburban New Jersey. For the past decade or so she’s been dream-surfing in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania.

She received the 2009 Ellen La Forge Memorial Prize in poetry. She has one young adult novel, Disintegrate, and four chapbooks: Ballroom – a love story, Cloud Studies – a sonnet sequence, How to photograph the heart, and The book of small treasures. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and was a finalist for 3 Quarks Daily’s Prize in Arts & Literature, Black Lawrence Press’ Black River Chapbook Competition, the Kenneth & Geraldine Gell Poetry Prize, as well as a semi-finalist for the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award, the Sawtooth Poetry Prize, the Philip Levine Prize in Poetry, and for the Brittingham and Pollak Poetry Prizes. Her website is christinekloceklim.com.

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