When she's chosen to be one of three exchange students with the recently discovered alien race the L'eihrs, Cara Sweeney sees not only a chance to get...moreWhen she's chosen to be one of three exchange students with the recently discovered alien race the L'eihrs, Cara Sweeney sees not only a chance to get a full ride to college but also the change to jump start her career as a journalist. But that Cara didn't expect was rampant xenophobia from her friends and planet or that her exchange student Alix might have a different agenda than promoting peace and understanding between the two cultures.
Oh, and she also didn't expect that she'd start to fall for the alien living under her roof.
Melissa Landers' Alienated starts off with a very interesting premise and story line, tackling some interesting threads and showing us the unintended price that Cara is paying for making the choice -- she loses her boyfriend and her best friend in the rampant xenophobia overtaking her community. But somewhere around the third or fourth disc of this audiobook, things began to quickly go awry and I found myself enjoying the story less and less. It's probably about the time that both Alix and Cara begin to fall for each other. It's not because Landers doesn't spend a time in the first half of the book setting these two unlikely heroes up as a couple. It's because once the Cara starts trying to making food palatable to Alix's alien palate that things the story begins to lose track of the interesting questions that drove the first half of the novel and slowly begins to center on just attracted these two are to each other.
Dropped from the story is the thread about how Cara's mother was saved by L'eihr technology and how that could impact Cara and her family's acceptance of Alix and his fellow student ambassadors.
About the only thing that kept me going for the final half of the novel was the mystery of what Alix and his exchange program counterparts are devising to inflict upon humanity in order to destroy both sides willingness to form an alliance. Unfortunately by the time we get around to any answers, I'd long since lost interesting and found myself doubling the audio rate on my iPod simply to get through the book. The answers aren't anything I hadn't already sussed out from the novel's early stages and by the time I got to the final disc, I was ready for the whole thing to be over and done.
Which is a shame because, as I said before, the story starts off well with some interesting questions. The novel ends of a cliffhanger of sorts but I can't say that I'm curious enough to want to pick up the story when the next installment hits shelves.(less)
Following his final confrontation with the Queen in "Planet of the Spiders," the third Doctor is slowly dying of radiation poisoning. Determined to ge...moreFollowing his final confrontation with the Queen in "Planet of the Spiders," the third Doctor is slowly dying of radiation poisoning. Determined to get back to his friends at UNIT to say farewell, the TARDIS brings him on a side detour to what appears to be an English village. But beneath the happy surface, there is something sinister going on -- including that no one is allowed to utter the "D-word" or else face the consequences.
Joanne Harris' The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Time Traveller captures the essence and character of the third Doctor in this fascinating, light novella set at the end of Jon Pertwee's tenure. Reading the story, I could hear Pertwee delivering the dialogue that Harris creates for his Doctor and this one feels like a nice little side-step into a familiar era of the show.
It's interesting that I picked this up right after listening to the Big Finish version of "Love and War." That story also references the end of the third Doctor era and his dying of radiation poisoning. This story slips nicely into Paul Cornell's take on the end of that era with the Doctor spending a decade in the TARDIS alone, dying of radiation poisoning.
I received a digital ARC of this story from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.(less)
Before I started running, I often wondered why people who ran did it. After all, as the old joke goes, you never see a runner smiling widely or lookin...moreBefore I started running, I often wondered why people who ran did it. After all, as the old joke goes, you never see a runner smiling widely or looking like they're having much, if any, fun.
Like author Matthew Inman (better known as The Oatmeal from his on-going web-comic), I didn't really understand the appeal of running long distances until I actually got out there and started doing it.
Inman's attempt to explain why he runs long distance is chronicled in The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances.
Not a how-to manual on the best technique or style to run, this book chronicles what drives a person to get out there and hit the roads, chalking up the miles and signing up for races that seem to be impossible distances. Some of the stories are serious and some offer humorous insights into the mind of this particular runner. Inman gives us some insight into how he developed his running technique and things he recommends doing (push on past the first mile, get used to being uncomfortable for most of your run) and things that he doesn't recommend (treadmills, using an iPod while running). Some of these I agree with (treadmills are good but they have their limitations) and some I don't (I'm just not focused enough to run without my iPod because I'd spend much of the time talking myself out of going farther). But it's still fascinating to get inside the head of a fellow runner and hear his successes and foibles out there grinding out the miles.
If there's one criticism I have of the book, it's that it feels a bit repetitive at times. It could be that it's meant to be read in single chapter servings rather than one big gulp as I did. It feels like Inman circles around a couple of points multiple times during the course of his own personal running journey.
So, if you're a runner and you have difficulty explaining why you do what you do, this book might be a good way to help non-runners understand it a bit better. It won't help you be a better runner, but it may help you understand your motivation to get out there and clock those miles.(less)
There are certain monsters and villains that lend themselves well to audio and some that don't. The Zygons probably fall somewhere firmly in the middl...moreThere are certain monsters and villains that lend themselves well to audio and some that don't. The Zygons probably fall somewhere firmly in the middle since their ability to disguise themselves as various people in the story can be more easily realized in the audio landscape. But then again, the Zygon voices also suffer from the same thing that the Dalek voices do -- they can be a bit grating to listen for an extended period of time in an audio release.
And so it is that we come to Zygon Hunt, the final release of the current fourth Doctor adventures and a story that worked far better than I initially thought it could or would. I'll say that the story suffers a bit in comparison to how superbly the Zygons were used in the fiftieth anniversary story, but overall I can't help but feel that this current run of fourth Doctor stories has gone out on a solid note, even if it never delivered on the early conflict between the Doctor and Leela that we saw in The Kings of Sontar.
The Doctor and Leela arrive on the planet Garros where they meet up with expedition that is hunting the Zygons for sport. But the question quickly becomes who is hunting who and just how does this play into the Zygons' plan to conquer the Earth? As I said before there are doppelgangers and questions of loyalty abounding in this story, but once those big reveals are stripped away, I'm afraid the overall story does quite hold together. Part of it that the supporting cast aren't really all that interesting or memorable so it's hard to really care much about who is human and who is a Zygon in disguise.
Overall, I feel like the latest fourth Doctor season started out on a high note and that it was all a downhill slide from there. Certainly Zygon Hunt isn't as disappointing as the last two entries in the range, but I still came away feeling a bit letdown overall by the season. (less)
Being a Doctor Who fan these days is interesting. What was once a more solitary fandom has now become more social. Where it was once just me enjoying...moreBeing a Doctor Who fan these days is interesting. What was once a more solitary fandom has now become more social. Where it was once just me enjoying my VHS copies of the stories and haunting my local bookstores for the latest novel, it seems like these days you can't turn around twice without seeing Doctor Who merchandise for sale everywhere.
It's become so pervasive that there were copies of "Deep Breath" for sale in Wal-Mart the other day. Wal-Mart! It appears we're in a golden age for tie-in merchandise to my favorite series.
And with a new Doctor arriving on the scene, it seems that the BBC is doing all it can to capitalize on fan enthusiasm, starting with the release of three new Peter Capaldi Doctor stories this week. Thanks to the kind people at NetGalley, I was able to secure ARC copies of the books a week or so before Capaldi made his debut on our screens. But being the obsessive fan that I am, I couldn't bring myself to crack the digital covers of the books until I'd at least seen his debut story. I didn't want to unintentionally spoil myself on details of the first story or to create any more notions of what I wanted from the Capaldi Doctor.
First up in the reading list was Mike Tucker's The Crawling Terror. The Doctor and Clara arrive in a small town that is literally crawling with giant, potentially deadly insects. Investigating further, the Doctor uncovers unnatural experiments taking place that could have a tie to British and German experiments from the second World War and a potential alien invasion just waiting to happen.
While the concept of an alien invasion of our planet through the U.K. isn't necessarily the most original Doctor Who plot, Tucker throws in just enough references to the classic and new series and gives it just enough of a twist that I didn't necessarily mind that much. I'm also impressed with how well Tucker had translated Capladi's take on the Doctor to the printed page. There are many instances where I could hear Capaldi delivering the dialogue that Tucker gives the Doctor. Clara is also well served by the story and feels authentic as well.
It makes me curious how much background material Tucker and his fellow authors were given to the early episodes. Did they read scripts or see test footage?Was it BBC sanctioned or did they have to get the scripts and footage via alternate means (since the first five scripts and working prints of a couple of episodes leaked to the Internet).
Whatever the case, Tucker does a solid job with The Crawling Terror. The story is effective and creepy.
As I said before, I received a digital ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. (less)
On the night of her father's funeral, Alex's best friend Becca slept with her boyfriend. Needless to say this didn't go over well with Alex and she ha...moreOn the night of her father's funeral, Alex's best friend Becca slept with her boyfriend. Needless to say this didn't go over well with Alex and she hasn't spoken to Becca much since.
Now as a new school year arrives, Alex decides it's time to get past Becca's indiscretion and continue their friendship. Looking for her friend on the first day of school, Alex discovers that Becca has cancer and that the time they have to forgive and forget may be less than both of them expected or counted on.
To make up for lost time, Becca gives Alex her bucket list of items and asks that Alex begin to cross them off for her. Some are fairly straightforward and easy to cross off while others like touching the rear of Battlestar Galactica star Jamie Bamber or having sex with someone you love may take a little more effort and work. And instead of being maudlin about the list and calling it a "bucket list," the two decide to call it The F--- It List..
In the world of young adult stories, it feels like stories centering on someone with a terminal disease are a dime a dozen these days. Julie Halpern's The F*&^ It List brings something different to the table because it tells us the story not of the person diagnosed with the disease, but of her best friend. And while Becca's diagnosis serves as a catalyst for the story, it's really the story of Alex's need to forgive herself and deal with some of her unresolved issues surrounding not only Becca but her departed father.
In short, the novel is a winner on just about every level with Alex as a fundamentally flawed character who is struggling with a lot of authentic issues and situations. It's interesting to see how Alex uses others around her to try and escape dealing with some of her larger issues and it's nice to see that the novel allows her to get away with this to a point and then begins to call her on it.
I'll admit that I was drawn to the book by its title, but once I'd cracked the cover, I stayed for the well-drawn characters and Halpern's storytelling. I will warn some of you who don't like to deal with the fact that young adults think about and participate in such things as masturbation and sexual intercourse that you probably won't want to read this novel. Both of these things, as well as a little flashing of the homeschooled boy who lives next door to Becca, occur in the novel. So, if you think you or your young readers can't handle that, I'd suggest not picking this one up.
However, if you think you can handle young adults acting like young adults, then I highly recommend this book. It stands out from the crowd. (less)
Something happened on trivia night at Piriwee Public -- something so tragic that the police had to be called in to investigate and try to separate the...moreSomething happened on trivia night at Piriwee Public -- something so tragic that the police had to be called in to investigate and try to separate the truth from the rumors.
Liane Moriarity's Big Little Liars starts with the tease about trivia night and then sends us back in time to build up to that night for four-hundred pages. It's the story of three women -- Jane, Celeste and Madeline -- who each have children enrolled in Miss Barnes' kindergarten class. At an orientation day, Jane's son Ziggy is accused of bullying another girl in his class. Despite Ziggy's denials, the incident polarizes families for and against Ziggy.
Jane secretly fears that Ziggy could have a bullying streak based on the one-night stand she had with his father, whom she hasn't seen since. As Jane slowly becomes part of the community and friends with Madeline and Celeste, the three begin to discover that each of them is hiding things and that things aren't as rosy as they would appear on the surface of their lives.
Over the course of Big Little Liars, Moriarity lays the foundation for everything to come to a head at trivia night. There are some fascinating but expertly set up revelations that come from the evening and what happens there. I'll give Moriarity credit that while I was able to suss out one of the revelations, most of the others were a satisfying surprise.
To say much more is to give away too much and to rob readers of the opportunity to experience this novel for themselves.
After directing an entry in the Companion Chronicles line earlier this year, Louise Jameson tries her hand at writing with The Abandoned.
And while he...moreAfter directing an entry in the Companion Chronicles line earlier this year, Louise Jameson tries her hand at writing with The Abandoned.
And while her directing debut was a winner, I'll have to admit that her script debut is a bit hit or miss. There are some intriguing ideas here, including an exploration of the nature of the TARDIS and some depth to the relationship of the Doctor and Leela that we couldn't necessarily see in the classic era, but I'm not sure that the story as a whole translates well into the audio arena. Jameson is quite good as Leela and gives herself a lot of stretching to do. But there are moments during The Abandoned that I felt might work better on the TV screen or printed page -- whether it be a straight text story or a comic book adaptation.
That puts the fourth Doctor adventures third season at two stories in a row that had some promise but didn't quite gel together for me. It also makes me begin to doubt very much if the range will deliver on the promise from the early installments of the season that had me eager to hear the next story. I feel like the range has dropped the ball a bit. (less)
My Soon-To-Be Sex Life is no where near as racy as the title would imply -- and that isn't a bad thing.
Charlie decided that it's time she lost the "Bi...moreMy Soon-To-Be Sex Life is no where near as racy as the title would imply -- and that isn't a bad thing.
Charlie decided that it's time she lost the "Big V" card and has begun a campaign to find the right guy to experience her first time with. But despite a plethora of potential suitors, Charlie can't quite go all the way with any of them.
Her plan is complicated when her mother admits she's got a drug problem and checks into rehab. Charlie is sent to live with her eccentric grandfather, Monty. Now she has to find a way to help mom get through rehab and survive her crazy grandfather, all while feeling an attraction to a new guy named Eric who makes her heart skip a beat.
In many ways, My Soon-To-Be Sex Life reminded me of the first American Pie movie. The hook is the "racy" set-up of a person wanting to lose his or her virginity but the story itself ends up being a character driven one that explores a lot more than just a quick coupling or two. Judith Tewes is to be commended for telling an emotional rich, honest story that packs a few laugh out loud moments along the way. Charlie is an interesting narrator and while the story seems to take a detour or two, it's still an interesting enough one that it will keep you rooting for her and turning the next page to see what happens next.
In the interest of full disclosure, I received a digital ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.(less)
After ten years in prison, former party girl Janie Jenkins has been released from prison on a technicality. But rather than use this opportunity to pu...moreAfter ten years in prison, former party girl Janie Jenkins has been released from prison on a technicality. But rather than use this opportunity to put her life back together, Janie has decided it's time to uncover the truth of who really killed her mother (Janie was doing the time for the crime) and the motive for her mother's killing.
Janie hasn't been wasting any of her time in prison -- she's taken advantage of the prison library to study details on the small town her mother escaped as a young girl. Free again, Janie launches a plan to change her identity and head back to the small town -- all while eluding various members of the media who want a photo of the former party girl turned convict and one particular blogger who has an ax to grind with Janie.
If you're worried I'm giving away too much of Elizabeth Little's engrossing mystery-thriller Dear Daughter, don't be. All of what I've described above is laid out within the novel's first fifty or so pages (or if you want to be even more nitpicky, on the cover blurb) and most of it's set-up for what's to come as Janie peels back the layers of her past to find out who her mother really was and who might have killed her.
Janie is completely unapologetic for her attitude and world-view, both of which are dour, pessimistic and sarcastic. Janie fills us in on details of her present and past on a need to know basis with hints coming first and then later filling in the necessary details. And while you may think you've guessed the ultimate ending to the novel by the mid-way point (as I did), Little is able to still pack in a few twists and pull the rug out from under you moments in the finale that are earned and appropriately foreshadowed.
It all adds up to one of the more impressive mystery debuts I've had the pleasure to read of late. It also puts Elizabeth Little firmly on my radar as someone to watch for future installments and see where she goes from here.
Given a year membership to a popular singles dating site, New York detective Kat Donovan reluctantly logs-on, hoping to give her love life a jump star...moreGiven a year membership to a popular singles dating site, New York detective Kat Donovan reluctantly logs-on, hoping to give her love life a jump start. What she finds instead is a profile from the man who broke off their engagement eighteen years before and has mysteriously disappeared (she's drunk Googled him a couple of times and comes up short).
Kat reaches out to him, using the lyrics of one of their favorite songs to catch his attention. But when he abruptly shuts down their communication and warns her not to contact him or seek him out again, Kat's suspicions are raised. Could the disappearance of this guy be somehow linked to the death of her father all those years ago and the man who is about to die in prison for confessing to her father's murder (as well as several others)?
And is her former fiancee connected to a string of rich widows who are disappearing under mysterious circumstances?
Harlan Coben weaves these threads together in Missing You, a story this one part mystery and one part suspense-thriller. The novel is bit more engaging than the last Coben I read, but it still feels like it overstays its welcome by about a hundred pages. Once the groundwork is put in place, it feels like the middle third of the novel treads a lot of water with Kat going in circles and following various paths toward the inevitable truth. The final third of the novel works well enough in the popcorn thriller mode of if you don't sit back and think too much, you'll probably enjoy what's happening and the twists and turns of the final pages.(less)
Annie doesn't run to lose weight or being in better physical condition. Annie's running to try and escape the guilt she feels over her boyfriend Kyle'...moreAnnie doesn't run to lose weight or being in better physical condition. Annie's running to try and escape the guilt she feels over her boyfriend Kyle's death. And Annie is willing to endure the training and sacrifices necessary to run 26.2 miles in memory and honor of Kyle.
Annie's guilt stems from the fact that when her high school sweetheart proposed to her, she not only turned him down but broke off their relationship. They eventually got back together. But on the night they rekindled their romance, Kyle was killed in a fluke accident, leaving Annie behind with guilt and questions over whether or not she wasted what time they could have together had she not broken things off.
Kyle was a runner and training for the Music City Marathon. In honor of his memory, Annie decided to finish what he started -- even though she's never had any interesting in running until now. So, she signs up for a training program to help her get ready and to get her lifestyle in line with what's needed to be a long distance runner.
While training, she meets Jeremiah, the younger brother of her trainer and self-confessed extreme sports junkie. Jeremiah is addicted to the rush he feels after completing a long run, a bungee jump or a variety of other sports that cause Annie to raise an eyebrow and fear for his safety. Despite being warned away from Jeremiah by his brother, Annie still feels herself attracted to him. But Annie is conflicted by her guilt over Kyle and Jeremiah's devil-may-care attitude about his personal safety.
Miranda Kenneally's Breathe, Annie Breath chronicles Annie's journey to forgive not only Kyle and Jeremiah, but also herself. During her relationship with Kyle, she grew apart from her long-time friends as well. And just as Annie works up the courage to run another mile or endure the latest complication from running, we also see her healing and allowing herself to reconnect with old friends and her family as well as allowing herself to admit she's attracted to and falling for Jeremiah.
There's a lot about Breathe, Annie Breathe that I really enjoyed. One of the biggest is that it's set in Nashville and I recognized a lot of the places and trails that Annie uses to run in the story. And the character arcs for both Annie and Jeremiah ring true and thankfully, while there's an instant attraction between the two characters, it's not a case of insta-love, as we see with far too many young adult novels.
There's also a mature sensibility to relationships and sexuality in this book that I found refreshing in a young adult novel. Early on, Annie is quick to let her hormones overtake and almost give into a roll on the creek bank with Jeremiah, only to have second thoughts and splash cold water on both of them. This is a young adult book that features both adult content and language, but it all feels authentic, earned and not put in there just to raise eyebrows or to shock readers.
All in all, Breathe, Annie Breathe is a fascinating character study centered around running that had me eagerly turning pages -- not only to see what local landmark would be referenced next but also to follow Annie's journey toward forgiveness and healing. This is the first novel I've read from Miranda Kenneally, but it probably won't be the last. (less)
While Doc Ock was inhabiting Spidey's body, Marvel decided to appease fans who wanted Peter Parker back with a couple of one-off stories with Peter Pa...moreWhile Doc Ock was inhabiting Spidey's body, Marvel decided to appease fans who wanted Peter Parker back with a couple of one-off stories with Peter Parker fully in control of things. The result is this collection of stories that feature Peter Parker front and center as the Amazing Spider-Man.
The first two stories in the collection are the highlight, including one in which Pete must resort to his secret identity and web across town to try and save Aunt May during a blizzard. Along the way, Peter encounters several others who need the help of his famous secret identity and is forced to weigh whether stopping to help them could mean that Aunt May will die because of his delay (a tree broke a window at her house and her power and furnace are out due to the weather). In many ways, this feels like the classic Peter Parker dilemma of who does he feel a "great responsibility" to the most. Combine a great story with some terrific art work (Spidey really stands out against the mostly white background of the blizzard) and you've got an intriguing little story that feels like the early days when Smilin' Stan Lee was writing Spidey stories.
The next story is just as good, looking at just how the various villains Spidey and company go up against get health care and patched up. A black market hospital specializing in the treatment of super villains has opened up and Spidey lands there following a battle in which he gets burns to over 80% of his body. It's one of those questions that seems so obvious -- once someone else has asked it, of course. The big problem I have with this one is that it's a two-part story and it feels a bit stretched thin by the time we get to the second installment. There's a lot of your typical Spider-Man trading of punches that help fill out the second installment and after a few pages it begins to wear a bit thin. But again, the art work is good and solid enough and the idea intriguing enough that I give them props for shining a light into an unexplored area of the Spidey universe.
The rest of the stories here aren't quite up to the standards of these two, though the last one about a young boy who asks himself "What Would Spider-Man Do?" is of particular note. I will warn you that it's a bit melancholy in tone and a downer to end the book.
But don't let that put you off this collection. It's a nice reminder of just what makes Spider-Man Spider-Man. (less)
Perusing reviews of Lies My Girlfriends Told Me, it appears the books is a bit polarizing among readers. There are some who call is "ground breaking"...morePerusing reviews of Lies My Girlfriends Told Me, it appears the books is a bit polarizing among readers. There are some who call is "ground breaking" while others are quick to dismiss it as your standard teen angst novel.
My thoughts on the subject are that yes, the novel is full of teen relationship angst and that it's not necessarily as ground breaking as some reviewers would have you believe.
When Alix's girlfriend Swanee passes away of cardiac arrest during a run, Alix's entire world is shattered. But not nearly as much as when Alix sneaks into her girlfriend's room and discovers her cell phone full of voice-mails and text messages from LM. Seems that Swanee had more than her fair share of secrets, including the fact that she was in a relationship with not only Alix, but also this mysterious LM.
Driven by a need to find answers, Alix quizzes Swanee's younger sister, Joss for clues and eventually begins to answer back the mysterious LM's texts. Alix eventually founds out that LM is Liana, a cheerleader at another school who Swanee assured Alix she'd broken up with when they got together. Confused, Alix seeks out Liana, wanting to find answers and possibly get some closure. But things get complicated when Alix and Liana share a connection, becoming friends and possibly more.
Lies My Girlfriend Told Me has teenage angst that comes off the page (or in my case through your earbuds) in waves. Alix's conflict about the Swanee she thought she knew and the real Swanee helps drive the novel and helped keep me interested during the first half of the book. The story shows us just how manipulative Swanee really was (she gets Alix to drop all of her friends, see her parents as terrible people for wanting her to help out around the house and not buying her a car, etc.) and it's a nice character arc for Alix to slowly realize that while she loved Swanee, that Swanee wasn't necessarily the great girlfriend in the world. We also see Alix come to realize that Swanee's family has some fundamental problems that she wasn't aware of when Swanee was alive (Swanee's mom reveals that she encouraged her daughter to date as much as possible while she was young. It feels almost as if Mom gave her approval of how manipulative Swanee and her sister Joss are of other's feelings).
A little teen angst can be a good thing, but there are times when it feels like Lies My Girlfriend Told Me seems to be pouring it on. Early on, I realized that Swanee was being emotionally manipulative of both Alix and Liana (she convinces Liana to buy an expensive engagement ring, promising that she'll buy one as well while she has no intention of doing so. She also promises both parties they will go to college together and have their own apartment). Seeing both girls come to terms with this is the novel's most interesting character arc and one that is well earned by the Julie Anne Peters.
Where the novel stumbles is in its portrayal of Alix (at times). There were moments I wanted to reach through the ear buds and tell her to wake up and realize that she was being a perfect little snot to her friends, family and those who care about her. I get that Peters is trying to help us understand just how much Swanee manipulated Alix, but there are times when Alix's feeling of entitlement became a bit cloying and annoying.
There's also the elephant in the room of that fact that Lies My Girlfriend Told Me is a main-stream young adult novel that centers on romantic relationships between people of the same sex. There were times as I listened to the story that the story worked and there were time I felt like this book was being as manipulative to readers (or potential readers) as Swanee was to Alix and Liana. Part of it comes from a lack of really significant or interesting character development. I kept finding myself hoping for a bit more development or understanding of what made Swanee the way she was or why these girls found her so irresistible. Unfortunately, we don't get any answers to this.
And while Alix does go on a bit of a journey, it doesn't necessarily seem like an earned one. Nor does her change feel natural enough or reasonable enough to support some of her parents' decisions (allowing her to take care of her little brother for the weekend, buying her a car) in the novel's closing pages. It felt like this was a bit of wish fulfillment on the part of Alix and Peters with a sudden turnaround in Alix's life that isn't earned. And don't get me started on how easily forgiven Alix is once Liana learns the truth about how they met.
All in all, what started out as a novel with an interesting hook turns out to be little more than a standard YA angst and wish fulfillment novels. It's not as ground-breaking as some would want you to believe, but it's not entirely worth dismissing. Go into it with lowered expectations and you'll probably enjoy most of what Peters is trying to do here. (less)