Duncan is sort of excited to find his Senior dorm room and the treasure left behind by the previous occupant. Unfortunately he finds out that he gets...moreDuncan is sort of excited to find his Senior dorm room and the treasure left behind by the previous occupant. Unfortunately he finds out that he gets the smallest, darkest room. The room that the albino kid, Tim, had. His "treasure" is some CDs. Duncan is pretty disappointed, but pops in the first CD. Tim's voice comes on over the speakers and says that he's going to help Duncan write his tragedy paper. The tragedy paper is pretty much THE paper that the seniors have to write. It's the culmination of everything they'll learn in Senior English. Tim is not telling Duncan a new story, just filling in some of the details that Duncan didn't know.
I was a bit disappointed in the "tragedy". I sort of expected it to be a bit more...tragic. Not that terrible things didn't happen, I just felt like it was built up to be significantly worse.
I liked the CD aspect, switching between perspectives. It was a bit like 13 Reasons Why except Tim wasn't blaming anyone else for his troubles. It's an interesting way to tell a story and I really enjoy it. I don't want every book to be written this way, but it really worked out for this story.
I didn't like how little there was about Duncan though. I know that the book would have to be really long to include two full length stories, but I felt like the amount of Duncan that we see is off. It should have been more or less, but not the amount given. It made Duncan seem unintentionally underdeveloped. He starts a relationship, seemingly out of the blue, and it doesn't really seem to add to the story.
I was definitely intrigued enough to keep turning pages to see the conclusion, but it was a bit disappointing when I go there. Maybe this would have been better as just Tim's story.
First Line: "As Duncan walked through the stone archway leading into the senior dorm, he had two things on his mind: what 'treasure' had been left behind for him and his Tragedy Paper."
Favorite Line: "It almost felt to him like he was reentering a bad dream, but he couldn't help himself."
Marina is the only one who has faced the Fades and the Dark and lived. She can't tell them about it though, because she doesn't remember. Most of the...moreMarina is the only one who has faced the Fades and the Dark and lived. She can't tell them about it though, because she doesn't remember. Most of the other kids don't like her because their parents sacrificed their lives to bring her back. Marina wishes she could remember something, anything to make these people feel like she was worth the sacrifice. Tobin, who's father died saving her, starts to be kind to her. It may only be what his father wanted, but it may be something more. Together they may be able to unravel her past and the lies that try to keep them safe.
I enjoyed this book. It was fast-paced and kept you turning pages. The Fades sort of remind me of Dementors at first. They seemed eerie and wispy. It's hard to imagine living a life like this. Never really being in the dark, not seeing stars or other parts of the world.
My one big complaint about this novel is the shifting tone. In the beginning it's all action, then it changes, then it's funny, then it's serious, scary etc. There wasn't a set tone for this novel, which while it isn't a terrible thing, kind of made the book seem all over the place.
I really enjoyed this story though. As it unraveled it was easy to guess where it was going, but there were so many threads to get there that some things were luckily still a surprise. Even at 400 pages this book seemed to fly by. The world and the story were just so fascinating that I never wanted to stop reading.
I feel like we could have gotten to know all the characters a bit better, but this is a series so there is always the next book. I'm very curious to see where McQuein plans on taking these books because this first one was fine by itself. I certainly want to know what happens next, but I felt like this book finished up nicely.
If you're looking for a nice dytopian-y supernatural-ish sci-fi-sorta read, check this one out. It was fun and fast and I quite enjoyed it. And for the record, Rue was my favorite character. So, more Rue in book two!
First Line: "Someone's attention shouldn't have physical weight, but it does."
Favorite Line: "His fingers split the spaces between my own, turning out hands into a shared fist."
Juliette has a curse a gift. Her touch can hurt people, can kill. She's been locked up a very long time. Her parents didn't love her and society feare...moreJuliette has a curse a gift. Her touch can hurt people, can kill. She's been locked up a very long time. Her parents didn't love her and society feared her. They hid her away for so long. When she gets a roommate she is shocked and afraid. What could it mean? A choice presents itself and Juliette must make a decision soon. Should she stand up and fight back, unleash all her anger and help The Reestablishment? or should she fight for what she believes in and fight for hope? People are willing to help her either way, but how can she know who to trust?
Wow. The only reason this book isn't perfect, is the imagery. It made it hard to pay attention to the story in the beggining. It was amazing and made me get sucked in, but there was just so much of it in Juliette's internal monologue that I wasn't paying attention to what was being said so much as how it was being said. That being said though, I wouldn't want to take a single deliciously sculpted sentence out of the whole book. This book was amazing from start to finish. A heroine you would fight next to and drag wounded to safety. Tahereh Mafi is an expert at sexual tension. Sometimes I was worried my book might catch fire because of the steaminess between the characters. This book was not overly inappropriate, Tahereh just managed to build up this tension that made the sparse air between the characters so thick with desire or fear or hatred. It was truly amazing and made the relationships that much more palpable. The whole story was just so fantastic. The society is falling apart and there is resistance from small groups. There are lies and secrets and misdirection. There is romance and aversion and murderous looks. This book has everything you could hope for and more. I can't even decided which side I'm rooting for more. There are so many tempting things that both have to offer. If I was Juliette though, I would have definitely played at Warner's game for a while. Let him get comfortable so he'd let his guard down. It would have also been easier possibly, not having to fight him every inch of the way. Who knows what would have happened with Adam though...who knows if he can even be trusted. Oh the dilemmas of love and power never cease! Shatter Me is coined as being "a world as riveting as the Hunger Games and a superhero story as thrilling as the X-men" and I am telling you right now, that is correct. This is one you'll want to pick up and reread before you even get a chance to set it down. Buy a copy for yourself and buy a copy for your friend.
First Line: "I've been locked up for 264 days."
Favorite Lines: (there are way too many to list them all) "They say our world used to be green. Our clouds used to be white. Our sun was always the right kind of light."
"My eyes break open. Two shattered windows filling my mouth with glass."
"My eyes are two professional pickpockets, stealing everything away in my mind. I lose track of the minutes we trample over."
"There is a distinct flavor of panic lodged somewhere underneath my tongue and I'm fighting to remember where it came from."
Four young girls were best friends and their moms all worked as scientists. At a sleepover one night, their babysitter accidentally spilled a substanc...moreFour young girls were best friends and their moms all worked as scientists. At a sleepover one night, their babysitter accidentally spilled a substance all over them. The friends had to move away and lost touch. Then one day Iris's hair turned purple, for no known reason. Then the girls end up moving back to attend the same school. After another sleepover, they realize that they are all a bit different. They can now do things that they couldn't before. They need to figure out how to use their powers for good and keep them a secret. Maybe they'll even find out why it happened.
This was a cute novel, but there were just too many things that I didn't like about it. There were way too many puns. There were some puns that were subtle and clever, but then there were some that were just obnoxious. Some of the puns seemed like they would go way over the head of middle school students. Kids just wouldn't get some of the references. For me there were just entirely too many puns and such. They even changed the name of Truth or Dare while referencing Truth or Dare.
The other thing I didn't like was how the mutants were treated in this novel. The girls called the ugly and disliked them and attacked them with little or no provocation from the mutants. I don't think that we should encourage tweens to be judgmental based on how someone looks. Granted these are very crazy mutations, animal/human mixes, but still. I just didn't think this sent the best message. I never really felt like their was a reason for them to be the bad guys, because they never really attacked.
I liked how each of the characters were different, but they were still all friends. They weren't all that nice to Opal though. I think each character gives girls a different person to relate to. It was a cute story, a bit like the Powerpuff Girls. A teeny-booper kind of read. I think middle grade kids will probably enjoy it more than grumpy old me.
First Line: "It was a dark and stormy morning."
Favorite Line: "...avoiding Candace's begoggled glare and scanning the digital matrix for sock distress signals instead."
Annaliese has been missing for a year when she stumbles into someone's lawn. She doesn't remember anything about herself but her parents are glad to h...moreAnnaliese has been missing for a year when she stumbles into someone's lawn. She doesn't remember anything about herself but her parents are glad to have her back. Something is a bit different about Annaliese though. It isn't just her memories that are missing. She's not sure why she feels so strange, but the bits and pieces coming back to her don't help at all. The things she starts to remember make her wish she could forget all over again. Everyone is trying to find the monster that did this to her, but maybe they are looking for the wrong beast...
So the one bad thing I have to say about this novel is that it wasn't nearly scary enough. All the promotion made it out to be really terrifying but mostly it was just mysterious. It was a really great mystery though. It wasn't just a regular whodunit either. It was far more complicated than that. It was a bit like The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, Annaliese had no memories and so no idea who she was or what had happened to her. The things that she didn't know didn't really make any sense to her.
I really enjoyed the new Annaliese. She was very interesting to watch. She's in a strange situation that few people with ever experience in part. Being missing for a year and then having no memories is tricky. People didn't really believe that she didn't remember anything. That has to be hard. Except, you don't know any of the people, so you don't probably care too much about what they think of you.
I really liked when the novel started to take a huge turn to the strange. As soon as more details and memories came back to Annaliese I had a great time trying to piece them altogether for her.
I liked the other characters too and they kind of make me wonder if there will be a sequel, or a sort of companion novel. I would be very interested to prequel to these events too. We are briefly introduced to the past, but I could totally have go for more.
Lately I guess I've just been wanting more details about all aspects of the novels I've been reading. They are good and so I just don't want to let them go. I want to stay inside the story forever exploring other places within it.
This book kept me guessing about some things until the end and I would really recommend it if you are looking for a great mystery. There's plenty of strangeness to make it a bit different from your average mystery.
First Line: "The field didn't end so much as trail off, beaten back by the rusted-out trailer and circle of junked vehicles surrounding it. "
Favorite Line: "'Sometimes it really is just someone's time and it can be quiet and peaceful and...it still makes your heart ache, but the way it does when you see the sun rising on a cold winter morning, pushing its way up above the bare tree branches, and you try to capture it on camera, but it's not the same, it doesn't—it can never—do it justice.'"(less)
Vanessa, Buzz, Carter and Jane were supposed to be bonding on vacation. Their parents had just gotten married and they all had to learn to get along....moreVanessa, Buzz, Carter and Jane were supposed to be bonding on vacation. Their parents had just gotten married and they all had to learn to get along. So with their uncle and his friend they take off on a week-long boating trip. Then a storm comes. A much bigger storm then they are prepared for. The children end up shipwrecked, the adults are gone. This will surely test how well they are willing to work together, because if they don't they may not survive.
This was a fast and interesting read, but it left a lot to be desired. It should have been longer. It was a bit too short. This book did have an ending, so at least it wasn't just left completely open like shorter book tend to be. I think younger kids will definitely be intrigued by this story.
There doesn't seem to be a lot of actual danger though. Everything is a bit soft around the edges. I know it's a middle grade novel and maybe that's why it's so gentle, but it does slow the book down a bit. It's a nice spread of ages in this novel.
My favorite parts were Jane. She was a very interesting young girl and I really enjoyed the bits she was filming for her class project. I would almost love for this book to have been told from just one perspective and then have another character do the next book and so on. At least it was fairly clear who was narrating.
I would probably recommend this to younger reluctant readers. There is a fair amount of action and the book goes by quickly.
First Line: "It was day four at sea, and as far as eleven-year-old Carter Benson was concerned, life didn't get any better than this."
Favorite Line: "And a long shot was way better than no shot at all."
Mack is still trying to assemble the Magnificent 12 when he finds himself captured by a thousand-year-old bad guy in a hidden castle. Needless to say,...moreMack is still trying to assemble the Magnificent 12 when he finds himself captured by a thousand-year-old bad guy in a hidden castle. Needless to say, things are not going to well for Mack. Luckily though, he's not alone and a few Vargran words might help him and the other Magnifica escape and join up with a few more with the Enlightened Puissance. First though, they must find the other half of the key. The key will help them defeat the pale queen...unless they can't get all of the Magnifica recruited. Danger awaits them and they will have to learn to all work together in order to defeat the villains and get to the Pale Queen in order to save the world.
From the very first sentence in this installment, you are swept into a dangerous situation. Mack is on the cusp between life and imminent death. Just because he's the hero, doesn't mean he's immortal. We find the Magnifica in Scotland this time, working to get the second half of the key that will help them stop the Pale Queen. We also see a lot of Mack's golem in this book. He's stuck at home and Risky goes to visit him. Risky isn't a very nice person, so this isn't necessarily a very nice visit. Risky stops by to lay down some evil groundwork so that she may use the golem for her own devices. Mack has a lot on his plate though and can't be bothered to figure out what's going on with his golem. He's too busy trying not to get himself or any of the Magnifica (and Stefan) killed. This proves to be trickier than they originally thought though, because lots of people don't want to see them succeed and all their enemies come to find them.
Again this book was quite humorous. I loved all the footnotes. I'm a huge fan of books that use footnotes in both serious or comical ways. There was a bit of technology name-dropping in this novel. Twitter, iPhone, YouTube, Google+ etc... which seemed a bit unnecessary. Seems like it could have been mostly avoided by saying cell phone, social networks and maybe just using YouTube. I don't know, I just feel like it dates the book a bit. Every now and then I come across a book that uses MySpace and I just giggle at the outdatedness(Cause nobody uses MySpace anymore. Not even Rachel.).
This was a great installment in the series though. We get to see more of the golem's life which is interesting. There's also more villains and past villains that all come out to see what havoc they can wreak. I'm a little confused on where a couple of the evil-doers got to at the end of the book. They were coming to fight and then... disappeared it seems. There seemed to be no more mention of them. If you're reading this series, make sure you pick this one up. It's just as good as the last ones and will make you crave more of the Magnificent 12.
First Line: "'Let me out of here, you crazy old man!' Mack cried."
Favorite Line: "If you think about it, talking to a sea serpent whose very existence is in doubt is not an easy proposition."
Louise is back again, and invited to another Fashionista sale. This time she has to find something for her friend, Brooke's birthday party. When Louis...moreLouise is back again, and invited to another Fashionista sale. This time she has to find something for her friend, Brooke's birthday party. When Louise spots this beautiful blue dress, she can't help but try it on. Once again she finds herself transported back in time. This trip takes her to France into the world of Marie Antoinette. Louise knows the terrible fate that awaits Marie and those close to her. How can she convince this young girl that she needs to care about more than clothes and cake? Also...what happens to Louise if she can't find her magic gown? Louise starts to get nervous, but luckily she meets someone who is willing to help her out.
Louise felt younger in this second novel. In the first one she mostly seemed mature, but in this one she's struggling with growing up and ends up sounding childish a lot. It was a bit annoying, but she is young. Other than that though, this story was pretty fun. I felt like less happened while she was time-traveling though. It seemed there was a lot more about Louise's real life and less about Marie Antoinette. This had me a bit bummed, because I am really fascinated by Marie's story.
You don't necessarily have to read the first book before reading this one. There is really only a few mentions that refer to the first book, besides finding out that dresses make Louise time travel. Not all dresses do, but some do.
Again, since I read an ARC there weren't color illustrations, but I know I'll buy it soon. If you enjoyed the first Time-Traveling Fashionista novel, definitely check this one out. If you like historical fiction or time-traveling novels, you could check this out too. This is a great story for girls of any age.
First Line: "Louise is alone in the forest, and it is dark. She knows that she has never been to these woods before; she is in new territory."
Favorite Line: "A lone baby goat wandered up to the clearing and the princess fed him a small cake from the table, which he greedily devoured, licking the remnants from her bare hand as she giggled."
Celia, Anne and Jane are triplets that have powers. Anne can see someone's future, Jane can see their thoughts and Celia, their past. Celia thinks her...moreCelia, Anne and Jane are triplets that have powers. Anne can see someone's future, Jane can see their thoughts and Celia, their past. Celia thinks hers is more awkward than useful though. It's hard pretending you don't know things about a person, and how could it help them. People remember their past. Lo doesn't though. Celia isn't sure what Lo is, but she was a haunting dark past that contains a scream like in nightmares. Lo doesn't mind how things are now, but there's a slight pull to remember her past. When a boy falls into the ocean and Lo and Celia both help save him. That's when the connection between the two girls starts. Maybe Celia's power was given to her for just this reason. The only question for Celia is can she trust Lo? For Lo, she has to decide if something so dark is worth remembering.
This story pulled me in almost immediately. I love a good underwater tale. I felt like I should have reread The Little Mermaid before reading this so that I could have seen the similarities and contrasts better. I really enjoyed the character of Lo. Her battles and her mind were just very fascinating. I love when a character needs to sort of rediscover their past.
The thing I really love about these fairytales retellings by Jackson Pearce is the subtle way they are all connected. With each new addition to the collection you get to see a little more of the interconnecting storyline. She gives the reader just another hint at what is going on behind the scenes in each tale.
I didn't really love Celia as a character, and her sisters weren't featured enough to really get a good sense about them. I felt like her sisters faded into a snobby background. Celia was just sort of mildly annoying. I'm not sure what it was about her, but she was just a bit too eager or something like that.
If you want a different kind of fairy tale, or a different kind of mermaid story definitely add this one to your list. I still need to read Sisters Red, but I seriously recommend reading both Sisters red and Sweetly before this one, just so you can see that connection between the stories that is just so intriguing.
First Line: "There are lights at the surface."
Favorite Line: "The house, the twilight, the scent of rot mingling with something sweet cooking on the stove." (less)
Before Wendy taught the lost boys manners, there was another girl in their midst. Tiger Lily stumbled upon Peter and the lost boys one day, and her li...moreBefore Wendy taught the lost boys manners, there was another girl in their midst. Tiger Lily stumbled upon Peter and the lost boys one day, and her life was never the same. Back in her village things weren't going as planned, so the boys gave her a place where she could pretend for awhile. Peter was completely different from all the people she already knew. Unfortunately hanging out with the lost boys may get Tiger Lily into trouble with her tribe. She is destined to be wed to Giant. This is not the life TIger Lily wants and she longs for Peter every moment she's away, even if she doesn't realize it. Meanwhile, Hook and his crew are searching for the Lost Boys and they may do anything to get rid of Peter.
So I picked this up, because I love a good re-telling. When I tried to think of Tiger Lily though I realized that I don't think I've ever watched the Peter Pan with her in it. I think I've just seen Hook a bunch of times. I read the book, but it was so long ago that the details of Tiger Lily are fuzzy. Regardless, I knew a little about her and looked up a bit more online. I did recognize the other characters though so that was great.
This was such and in-depth re-telling that I will not be able to recommend it enough. It takes Peter Pan and changes it into a whole new beautiful story. The characters are examined closer and the backstory of Neverland is detailed.
This novel is narrated by Tinker Bell, which gave an interesting viewpoint of events unfolding. It also gave great insight into the different characters as she observed them. She was not an unbiased narrator, but she was loyal. She even gave us a bit of her own story which just made things even better.
There were some nice consistencies between the original and this novel. Tink still doesn't speak, Tiger Lily is a girl of few words, there are even crocodiles and Englanders. This novel just elaborates and changes things nicely. There's a lot of meat and emotion in this novel. Tiger Lily becomes this wonderful fleshed out character with so much emotion in her still face. I also loved Pine Sap.
There are some terrible things that happen in this novel. There's death and rape and other fairly terrible things. It's a more honest sort of fairy tale.
If you loved the original tale or love fairy tales, you should definitely pick this one up. It was a fantastic story, even if you have never heard of Peter Pan. I will probably be re-reading this one again soon.
First Line: "She stand on the cliffs, near the old crumbling stone house."
Favorite Lines: "She wondered if there was anyway she could fly away too."
"And then she stepped up onto a fallen tree, edging to where it hung over the abyss."
Eve's made it to Califia, but at a great cost to her. She's lost everyone she cares about, but has escaped the King for now. When Arden shows up at Ca...moreEve's made it to Califia, but at a great cost to her. She's lost everyone she cares about, but has escaped the King for now. When Arden shows up at Califia, Eve is relieved to have a friend there. Talk of Caleb being spotted makes it's way into the camp though and the other women seem weary of the girls. Arden and Eve decide they need to escape before they won't be able to. Eve is also desperate to find Caleb. You can't always believe what you hear from strays though, and Eve once again lures Arden into a trap that sets the girls back by getting them captured yet again. This time though, Eve is sent to The Sand City, where she will learn the true purpose of why the King wanted her.
So this novel may have been even better than Eve. I loved that we finally got to see the City of Sand and the King. This is a tricky novel to talk about though, because I don't want to ruin anything. This one didn't end quite as nicely as Eve, but that's alright, because I was already going to be dying to read the sequel. Eve still did a lot of really stupid things in this novel. She's just very naive and trusting and it doesn't work out well in survival situations. I wished we had got to hear more about Califia. She was there for awhile, but it's only a few pages before she's off again. I guess it was just boring there. The King...I'm still not sure how I feel about him. On one hand it seems like he's not trying to be a terrible person there are just things expected of him, but on the other hand he seems like a terrible person. I'm torn. There were a couple characters that had big parts in the story but not in the novel, so it would have been nice to get to know them. The characters we do get to know all seem to have ulterior motives, so it's hard to like any of them. This novel salso had quite a few surprises in it, though by now you can never trust what you think is going to happen. This was another excellent novel by Anna Carey and I can not wait to read Rise.
First Line: "I started over the rocks, clutching a knife in one hand."
Favorite Lines: "Curtis held up his hands in surrender. He joined us shuffling awkwardly around the cramped room."
When B's father first sees the news reports about zombies in Ireland, he laughs it off. Even if there were zombies, he doesn't care much about the Iri...moreWhen B's father first sees the news reports about zombies in Ireland, he laughs it off. Even if there were zombies, he doesn't care much about the Irish...or blacks, or Indians or anyone not up to his British standards. This bigotry infest B to. At first B makes like it's just an act, just pretending to have this hatred. When B acts out in school though, it seems to be more than just pretend hatred. B's friends also hear about the zombie attacks, they are a bit less skeptical. They are more concerned about B's racism. B's best friend is black and it doesn't make sense for B to hate others based on their skin. When the zombies come though, B will have to decided what really matters in life. Does being a person not native to England make you less important? Can B make it out alive and save some people too?
This is going to have to be a fairly short review. There's is such an amazing twist in this book and since this book is so short, I don't feel like I can talk too much about it without spoiling it in some way. B was an interesting character. It's weird to be in the mind of a maybe racist person. B's father is part of the Klan, so it's interesting to see how that affects B. B's father is also abusive towards B and his wife. B's almost too scared not to be a racist. It made me cringe a little all the hatred that is in this book and radiating from B.
Past the bigotry though, you get the gore. There was definitely a great amount of gore for a good zombie story. The only problem is how long it takes to get to the zombies. B's encounter with zombies takes up a small portion of this small book. It seemed a little rushed once they showed up. It was really amazing still though, but don't read this if you have a weak stomach.
Unfortunately, since this is an ARC I did not get to see the illustrations, but I have a copy coming soon so I'll get to check them out. I hope they fit well with the story.
The last 30 pages or so totally make this book shoot up to 4.5 stars. It was a good 3-3.5 star book before, but the last couple chapters just pulled everything together and punched me in the gut. The book sort of ends with a cliff hanger. I think the ending would work find as a stand alone novel. I crave more, but I feel satisfied with how it ends.
Definitely check this book out if you like a good zombie read. I can't wait for more of this series!
First Line: "THEN...It was the darkest, most wretched hour of the night when the dead came back to life and spread like a plague of monstrous locusts through the village of Pallaskenry."
Favorite Lines: "It's no different in the dream. Except in a way it is. Because I know something worse than a crash is coming. I sense it in the air. The roar of a plane engine is always menacing, but this sounds worse. It sounds hungry."