Times are tough, but I really love to read. I'll take the occasional splurge on a nice hardcover that I know I want to read, or that looks interesting. I actually bought Marissa Meyer's Cinder at the same time I bought The Hunger Games, and loved both.
But, alas, my school loans are in repayment right now, and it's a lot of money. I've got some nice savings I'd like to not dip too much into. Being frugal has led me to seek free ebooks by indie authors.
That led me to Stray by Andrea K. Höst, book one of the Touchstone Trilogy.
It was free, and it was awesome.
Stray begins with the main character, Cass, walking out of our world and to another one, unexpectedly. Using an empty diary she bought for a gift to record what's happening, Cass recounts the world she's in, the creatures that inhabit it, her attempts at survival, and eventual rescue by other humans who are more than they seem to be.
Once rescued, Cass doesn't get to return home, but though a series of events, discovers that she's much more than she ever knew herself to be. It's also a very funny book.
Host has built a very detailed, fascinating, and convincing world for her characters to inhabit, and made an alien world seem pretty comfortable, even when it's unusual. I read this book on my phone's Kindle app, mostly in line for a Black Friday sale laptop, and then a lot over that weekend. I honestly couldn't put it down, and I will be buying the sequels, Lab Rat One and Caszandra.
Even if you're not a teen, this book is fun, and as of the time of this post, is $0.00 in the Kindle Store. If you don't have a Kindle, that's cool. I don't either. I have the Kindle app on my computer, phone, and Google Nexus 7, because the app is free. If you're not a fan of Kindle or Amazon, it's also available here at Smashwords in a variety of formats and still wonderfully free.
Can't beat a good book for an awesome price like that.
But seriously, check out Stray by Andrea K. Höst.