Interest in the book: The books does sounds interesting, no? I was really attracted by the main character being stuck in a year after his girlfriend is fatally shot, knowing he will somehow figure out how to rectify the situation. It seemed like a very dramatic story to tell.
Characters: Jackson is our main character. He’s 19 and in his first year of college. He’s filthy rich with a non-participative dad and a hole in his heart that his sister Courtney once filled. As you learn things about Jackson’s past, you feel pity and sadness for his present, but you also admire his positive outlook. He’s in love with Holly, and with the help of uber-geek Adam, he’s beginning to test his time jump abilities. And that’s about as interesting as I found him. Holly wasn’t an extremely exciting character either, though I did enjoy their time in the past together much more than the present. Adam, Courtney and Jackson’s father were my favorite characters. Jackson’s father is extremely intriguing and throughout most of the book I detested him, but I found him so very interesting. I placed my self in his shoes at times, trying to figure out his motives. I may have felt some empathy a time or two. The moments Jackson shares with Courtney in his jump to the past are uber sweet and some of my favorite scenes.
Worldbuilding: This is my favorite part of any story and I was quite disappointed with the world building in Tempest. I recognize that my confusion with the time jumping probably led to my disappointment, but it still brought the enjoyment factor down for me something major. The flashbacks were set in the past that is now the present, but there were a lot of flashbacks and jumping and the pacing was fast. It became convoluted and disorienting for me.
Lasting Impressions: I really enjoyed the male narrator. We need more of these in YA! The heart and passion behind this story is solid. I felt it. It’s there, but I didn’t buy in to the love story as much as others. My connection to Jackson, Holly or their relationship wasn’t strong. The final 50 or so pages of the story were very exciting and I enjoyed them more than the rest of the book! I think where the story is headed may be enough for me to pick up book 2.
Smashtastic Entertainment Scale: Great potential. ...more
My interest in the book:I’ve wanted to read this book since it’s release. The epic cover is what initially drew me in, and I love how it really relates to the story. I love a good paranormal mystery, and the cover was oozing with creepy, spooky fun. Once I read the synopsis, I knew it was a must-read.
Characters: Kendall has OCD, and the scenes where she is struggling with her disorder were pretty interesting. She often tries to normalize it but is always aware of how others may view her condition. I often pondered the purpose of this disorder throughout the story, but it becomes very clear that it is needed to propel the story forward. I was not very drawn to Jacian at the beginning of this story, though I admit he was pretty elusive. I thought he was rude and mean for no apparent reason. However, he certainly grows on you. As I began to learn more about him, my heart softened. The romance that develops between Kendall and Jacian is really sweet, simple and natural. Jacian’s younger sister, Marlena, was a complete sweetheart and I really enjoyed her scenes.
World-building: I really love small town mystery/horror stories. The author did a fantastic job at building a setting that was creepy yet normal.
Lasting Impressions: I absolutely loved the voice actor for this audiobook, and I am glad that I experienced it in this format. However, I will admit to being a bit lost by some passages concerning the paranormal element, that would not be so confusing if I was looking at the book. The suspense in this book was epic! Cryer’s Cross brought the creep factor and the mystery, and it brought it hard. However, it left me needing more from the paranormal elements. I engaged immediately in the story and was intrigued throughout, only to be somewhat disappointed in the end....more
Ashley: Temple… Temple, is her name- Dude, for like TWO paragraphs I thought they were talking about an ACTUAL Temple and I was WICKED confused
Smash: For real?
Ashley: YES!! I had to re-read the first few pages several times… I’m fairly certain that the ‘literary genius’ of this novel was totally lost on me. ;)
Smash: Heh. I’m not sure I would go that far. ;) However, I loved the name choice. Throughout the book, she reminded me of a sturdy temple, refusing to fall.
Ashley: Really? Dude, I was too freaking irritated throughout Reapers to concentrate much on the story… What ‘perspective’ was this told in? Have you ever read anything without the use of quotations??
Smash: No, and it was wicked annoying. You had to really focus to know when something was being spoken. I am not sure why the author chose to go that route. However, the story was definitely from Temple’s perspective, and an interesting perspective it was!
Ashley: That it was!! But, you know that ‘focusing’ isn’t so much my strong suit… ;)
Smash: And while it is mine, I seem to lose it around you. :D
Ashley: Hehe!! Alright, so I honestly think that this would have been an AWESOME book- if I could have gotten past the problem I had with the whole NON-quotations thing… Why not write the dialog like EVERY other book in the world???
Smash: It was definitely hard to get past. I tell you though; I was drawn into the story from the start though. Temple was fairly young and had been on her own for a very long time. Not a lot of contact with other humans, and she has survived. I really admired her strong wit and backwards smarts. She was a tough cookie.
Ashley: My thing is… the dead rose- What? Like 25 years prior to this story right? WHY is there so much food left? Why are there so many stores, museums, landmarks, malls… EVERYTHING, left untouched?
Smash: Great point, and it isn’t one I even thought about! She did seem to have it easy while traveling, stopping at abandoned stores for her favorite crackers, which should have been spoiled and a pile of cheesy mush by then.
Ashley: See? I may not be the sharpest tool in the shed… and all that. But, it’s the little things that bug me! Like the fact that she could barely string a coherent sentence together, then used words that I had to look up in the dictionary! Like: shoal. WTF? No one knows what ‘shoal’ is! And palaver, and cartograph… I DO know what these mean, but with her limited speaking ability- you’d think she wouldn’t have such a broad vocabulary!
Smash: That’s one of the things I loved most about her though! She was wise beyond her years. Simple minded but sharp. She was hella fierce but you caught glimpses of her compassion. She tended to reason her way through everything, and I was constantly amazed by her positive outlook: “But you gotta look at the world that is and try not to get bogged down by what it ain’t.” That chick went through serious Hell and continued on like it was another day at the office.
Ashley: Yeah, but when that’s your reality- then that’s what you do. Right?
Smash: ‘Tis true, and you’re right. It was the only reality she ever knew.
Ashley: Okay, so what’d you think of Moses? I liked him, dude. Does this make me wicked insane? This guy tracks her with an intense sadistic passion across what is now America with the intent to kill her under any circumstance… but I liked him!
Smash: I agree. Moses was an interesting character and he really propelled the story forward. You never knew when he was going to pop up and try to bring Temple to her knees.
Ashley: Obviously, I didn’t want him to kill her… I just felt that he was doing what he thought needed to be done, no matter how ridiculous the reason.
Smash: It was a little much, but he was a passionate man! :)
Ashley: Right? All the references to the Bible weren’t lost on me either… (the nuns would be so proud!) Almost every character had a biblical name, and even the title: ‘The Reapers are the Angels’ refers to a passage in the Bible if I’m not mistaking…
Smash: I had to look it up, but it sure is a Bible passage. I’m not a religious person, but I really enjoyed the religious undertones throughout this book. It was not a light, fluffy zombie book, in any way. Temple never lost her hope though: “Ain’t no hell deep enough to keep heaven out.”
Ashley: Yeah, usually religious type ‘messages’ irritate me… I think it must be all those years I spent at Catholic school… ;) But this one oddly didn’t. Perhaps I was too busy staring at the lack of quotation marks!
Smash: And we’re back! “I shall use quotes throughout the review from this point forward.” Ok, so quotes aside, what did you think of the description of the “slugs, meatskins, creepers” and whatever other cool term was used to call the zombies?
Ashley: The “meatskins, slugs… etc” were alright… To be totally honest, every time she said “meatskin” I thought of a penis. No joke dude. :D I mean what else would you think of???
Smash: I shall now be plagued by nightmares of walking penises with teeth! EEEEEEEEP.
Ashley: Well, I mean really… I cannot be held responsible for the imagery created in my head while reading….
Smash: And you love to share, which I love about you. :)
Ashley: Right?? I’m totally open like that! So what were those things on the mountain? Like mutant zombies?
Smash: Holy Shite! That entire part of the book was INSANE. I have no clue WTF Temple stumbled upon on the vast mountain range, but it reminds me of The Hills Have Eyes meets Redneck Zombies.
Ashley: Oooooh PERFECT description dude!!!! They were WICKED creepy! Okay, so what about the END- before this turns into a rendition of name the freakiest movie you’ve ever seen… What’d you think?
Smash: Speaking of movies, I think this book would make a stellar movie!
Ashley: I think it’d make a better movie than it did a book- just sayin! At least I’d know who was talking. ;)
Smash: You never know. It could be a movie with miming or deaf folk.
Ashley: Or subtitles!!! *gasp*
Smash: Ok. The ending took me by surprise. I am not sure I enjoyed how it ended. It was shocking, and I remember being angry, but then I felt a calmness about it. :/
Ashley: I’m still trying to work out if I liked it or not… I think I sort of expected it to end that way- I’m not sure I liked WHO was responsible for doing it! So I do RATINGS and you don’t, but since were not posting this on our blogs… would you recommend this one or not?
Smash: Personally, I would recommend this to zombie fans. As you’ve stated in the past, there are so many different types of zombie books. This is one of the most unique, and I think people should read it just cause. :)
Ashley: I agree… I’d recommend that people read it, just to say you’ve experienced it. But, I didn’t LOVE it. But, you knew after you read it and I hadn’t that this wouldn’t be one I’d LOVE, didn’t you? I go more for “gore and blood” or “hilarious awesome” in my zombie books… rather than… uuuuuh? What is this? Emotional and thought provoking?
Smash: Definitely. And for me, I prefer BOTH. I thought this was a great mix of gore and horror along with some great character-driven storyline.
Ashley: You know, it was rather gory at times wasn’t it??
Smash: In my notes, I jotted down that I loved the “nice, gory descriptions.” Nice and gory. Only me. And hey, I just used QUOTES!
Ashley: I HONESTLY think that’s my biggest beef dude. I just can’t get past it… It took so much away from the book for me!
Smash: And with that, I think it’s safe to say that for those of you wanting to check this one out, be prepared for some serious irritation over the absence of quotes. But in the end, a really “insane” story unfolds and you are left scratching your head and wondering WTF you just experienced. My kinda book, indeed!
Ashley: Agreed! (except… I don’t like thinking WTF just happened? lol!) Still worth the read!...more
My Synopsis: Meet Susan and Alex Wendt, and their adorable daughter, Emma, a typical family living in Brooklyn, NY. Susan has quit her job to pursue her love of art, and has become obsessed with moving her perfect family out of their small apartment. Lucky for them, the perfect opportunity presents itself, and the family finds themselves living in their dream apartment.
Too bad that dream is squished like the big, juicy bedbug Susan finds on her pillow. And so the fun begins. Susan begins to freak out about a bug infestation that her husband and daughter have yet to encounter. She calls in an exterminator, who gives the apartment a clean bill of health, yet Susan falls deeper into bed bug Hell.
My interest in the book: Hello! Psychological thrillers are so fun to read. They make some of the best horror reads because of what they suggest. They plant a seed in our mind that has us questioning our own sanity. I like that look-over-your-shoulder-and-under-your-bed type of story. I like books that get in your head, and in the case of Bedbugs, get under skin.
Characters: Susan is a pretty normal woman who morphs into someone unrecognizable by her family. Alex is a hardworking man who really cares for his family, but finds it hard to handle Susan’s “issues” along with the stress of being the lone bread winner. Sweet Emma is a great addition to the story and I’m glad the author decided to include a child in the mix. An eccentric landlady, a shady handyman, a nanny, and a rough and tumble exterminator round out the cast of characters.
Worldbuilding: The world building for this book is pretty straightforward, as it is not set in a fantasy world, but in good ole NYC. Many of us may agree that NYC has its own set of fantasy elements, but the Wendts live in typical family-oriented neighborhood surrounded by shops, eateries and parks. The real world building takes places inside the apartment, where Susan slowly loses her grip on reality and the apartment warps into something straight out of a horror movie.
Lasting Impressions: Honestly, this book was great. I did find the ending a little hokey, but it did not detract from the terror and insanity that seeped from the pages. I thoroughly enjoyed the slow descent into madness and personally, would never, ever want to go through what this woman experienced…real, imagined or otherwise! In my opinion, when an author leaves you thinking about the book days after you’ve finished it (or in the case of Bedbugs, feeling the book days after), I think it’s safe to say that they did their job, and well....more
Smashtastic Synopsis: Meet Caitlyn, a Para on the run with her mother. Caitlyn lives in a world where being different gets you a life straight out of a Stephen King novel. Therefore, Caitlyn and her mother keep moving so that the government ParaTroopers do not learn of Caitlyn’s incredible telepathic abilities. When Caitlyn settles in a small town and falls for Alex, a Normal, things get heated. Caitlyn discovers a dangerous group of renegade Paranormals who are more closely connected than she could ever imagine. Faced with difficult decisions that will affect society as a whole, Caitlyn must choose between hiding in plain sight or standing up for humanity.
Interest in the book: Ever since reading Scars, I knew I would be a life-long fan of Cheryl Rainfield. I love her honesty and raw emotion, along with the simplicity and straightforwardness of her writing. I knew this book would be worth the time and was grateful for the opportunity to review an ARC. Characters: Caitlyn is a pretty stellar character. The reader is granted a front row seat as she slowly evolves into someone who refuses to allow others to suffer, even if it costs her everything she has. Her telepathic abilities are strong, as she is able to alter people’s decisions by planting seeds of doubt in their minds. This is clearly against her morals but she uses her ability in the fight to stop the oppression of her people, but also to save Normals. Her decisions are never one-sided, and she struggles with the weight of these decisions. While constantly bombarded by hate and disgust for her kind, she refuses to let these messages sway her perspective. The story aligns Caitlyn in a very straight shot to the dark side, so to speak, yet she fights to remain pure and true to ALL of humanity. She is a true hero and I want to hug her.
Worldbuilding: As you learn about the dire situation the Paras face, you begin to realize how much this world parallels our own. Paras are hunted and imprisoned merely because Normals fear their abilities, which stems from ignorance. Ignorance is prevalent in our own society, which leads to racism, discrimination, oppression and a plethora of other issues that should have long ago been eradicated, seeing as how we have evolved as a race. While there are certainly renegade Paras who take matters into their own hands and relish in the idea of hurting those who oppress them, there is a strong theme that tolerance and more importantly, acceptance, is the best path.
Lasting Impressions: As the author always sets out to do in her writing, she has given us a world rich in meaning. So many real-world issues are brought to light in this book: government control, oppression, racism, homophobia, sexism, and the basic right to life, dignity, liberty and security. The author does a splendid job of weaving these themes into this story. And we all know how much I love a story that brings real-world issues to our attention. My only irk with this book was the romantic aspect, as it never felt real to me. However, I do understand the importance of the Para/Normal relationship in propelling Caitlyn into uncharted water, forcing her to fight to survive.
Smashtastic Entertainment Scale: Great fun and extremely meaningful...more
Smashtastic Synopsis: The year is 1996, when the internet is still a new fad. Meet Emma and Josh, best friends and neighbors since they were in diapers. Emma receives her first computer, a gift from her father, and an America Online CR-ROM from Josh. They boot up the PC and log on to AOL, only to discover themselves on Facebook fifteen years later. Things gets complicated when they try to alter their future with their choices today. Will their destinies change for better, or for worse?
Interest in the book: Yani first told me about this book, and then one day, it magically appeared in my mailbox (I LOVE when that happens!). I was a high schooler in the late 90s, and definitely remember the AOL craze, so I was all over this one.
Characters: Emma and Jay are your typical teenagers, dealing with school, friends and romantic blunders. Two kids, two destinies. I did enjoy their relationship, and really thought they looked out for each other throughout the story. I enjoyed the growth and maturity they both experienced, especially Emma. The secondary characters, Tyson and Kellan, were a bit more interesting and dynamic, in my opinion. I always seem to like secondary characters more! Worldbuilding: I LOVED the 90s throwbacks, like “Welcome” and “Goodbye” via AOL, the noise a modem makes when it’s logging on to the net. A discman! Dave Matthews and Green Day. Wayne’s World. The nostalgia was intense! There were some really fun Facebook status updates from the future, as well, that were quite funny when put into context of this story.
“Glee + Netflix = My Life.
I also loved the little bits of information that proves how far society has comes since the 90s. It also proves just how much further we still need to travel.
“We just learned in sociology that they don’t allow same-sex marriage anywhere in the world. Isn’t that crazy? That’s what my next editorial is about.”
Lasting Impressions: All in all, the story was light and easy to digest. It isn’t an amazing book, but is was entertaining. I think the story really drives home the importance of living for today. As my favorite musical states…
NO DAY BUT TODAY!
Smashtastic Entertainment Scale: Great Potential
"I have a computer in my car? Josh is going to freak out when he hears this. And if Kevin saved a life, maybe he’s a doctor. Or a paramedic. Or a fireman! That’d be cool because firemen have great bodies."
My Synopsis: Meet Chase Williams, Demon Hunter Extraordinaire. Or not. You see, Chase ran into a little problem on his way to becoming a demon hunter. On his fifteenth birthday, his elemental powers decided to say a big “forget you!” and not show. In his world, this pretty much equates to a big fat L on your forehead, as his pompous father and the Circle confirm. Now, Chase finds himself exiled without the Circle’s protection, along with his devoted mother. And unfortunately for Chase, being the son of a feared demon hunter can be seriously detrimental to one’s health.
Living his entire life being told that demons are bad and must be killed, Chase’s beliefs are challenged when he encounters an innocent demon with a stutter named Willy. As the story progresses, Chase forms an unlikely alliance with a sassy witch named Rayna, whose secrets rock Chase’s world. They uncover that the Circle is not all what it seems, and they must work together to stop a hellish plan that could be the end of them all.
My interest in the book: The cover is what caught my eye, and once I read the synopsis, I was very interested in this magical world. I was especially drawn to the elemental magic, which is a favorite of mine.
Characters: One of the best parts of this books is the likeable characters. Chase is a pretty normal teenager, despite his otherworldly heritage. My heart immediately went out to him and his mother, and it only grew as the story progressed. Chase matured throughout the story and it was great to see that growth. I especially loved his mother. She was ridiculously protective and supportive of her son. Then there is Rayna! This sexy, sassy lady was a standout. She has secrets even she is unaware of, and she and Chase become quite the awesome team. You could not but help love Willy in all his “scaredy demon” glory. Tiki is a character we meet later in the story who also brought smiles to my face. We are also introduced to a really cool creature or two, and I am really hoping we get to see more of them!
Worldbuilding: I really enjoyed the development of this world. I loved reading scenes where magic was used. The author used great descriptive writing and it wasn’t overly detailed and boring. The fight scenes were also descriptively awesome, as were the different dimensions and use of portals.
Lasting Impressions: I was impressed by this debut book by M.R. Merrick. He provided a great backdrop, solid, likeable characters, an interesting, mysterious storyline and good writing. The ending of this book provided a great lead into book 2, which I thoroughly look forward to reading....more
Interest in the book: Any time the new Scholastic catalog is released, I jump at the chance to read any of their titles that have a dystopian or post-apocalyptic setting. I especially loved the idea of Empty, as it poses some really good questions on how the heck life would go on without fossil fuels. Society relies so much on these nonrenewable resources, and it’s downright scary to think about what life would be like if we run out. The author gives us a bleak yet inspiring look into a possible future.
Characters: Most of the characters in this book were fairly simple in terms of characterization. There are multiple points of view in this story, and I appreciated that all the kids remained optimistic, as kids tend to do. I will say that I loved Tom the most. He surprised me a few times and I enjoyed being in side of his head. Connection to the characters was minimal, and while that is highly important in most stories, the world building was the true gem of this story.
Worldbuilding: As usual, this was my favorite part of this book. The author has presented us with a world the likes of which we hope to never see. Oil is quickly drying up, countries are fighting over the last drops. One gallon of gas is nearing $100. Businesses of all types and sizes are closing down because they cannot afford to remain open. I was horrified by how much we really do rely on oil. It is used in the production of just about everything. We all have read or witnessed what occurs when people panic, and the “every man for himself” mentality is clearly at play in this book. Seeing people in this light is seriously depressing and scary.
Lasting Impressions: What I love most about this book and what it represents is knowledge. I really adore the author for bringing such serious issues to the attention of the younger generations, who tend to be a little to comfortable inside their technology bubbles these days. Most of the children and adolescents I work with are completely clueless on world issues. A lot of this falls on the parents, who are also content inside their bubbles, but hopefully books like these will offer some insight. My entire life’s purpose was drastically changed because of a movie (based on a true even), and we all know books are way more inspiring. :)
Smashtastic Entertainment Scale: Enjoyable and Important...more
Smashtastic Synopsis: The final installment in the Paranormals Trilogy by J.L. Bryan, Alexander Death packed a punch. At the end of Tommy Nightmare, Alexander steps in and saves Jenny’s life from a mob riot caused by Ashleigh and Tommy. She is being pummeled to death, and has been severely hurt by Seth, so she makes the only viable decision. Alexander sweeps her away to Mexico, where he slowly opens her mind to her past lives, showing her that they are meant to be together. Meanwhile, Seth never gives up on Jenny, and searches until his finds her. Jenny is torn between her feelings for Seth and Alexander, both present very different futures for Jenny. What will her heart tell her to do?
Interest in the book: I dare you to read Jenny Pox and not follow through with the entire series. And if you don’t…*sticks out tongue*
Characters: I wanted to like Alexander during certain parts of this story, but deep down, I knew he was an evil dude looking out for his own arse. I knew it wasn’t wise to trust him but he was a charming son of a gun! Plus, he raises the dead. Win! Jenny really morphs in this book, and she is almost unrecognizable in the middle of the story. She has come to terms with her past, and with help from Alexander’s manipulation, becomes something she despises. Tommy takes a serious turn in this book, and I was quite pleased with his growth. Ashleigh brings her wickedness down like scalpels, and she is relentless when it comes to destroying Jenny! Seth knows in his heart that Jenny needs him, and he does not give up on her. *swoon*
Worldbuilding: This story opens up with a memory of Seth and his older brother, Carter. It’s a touching scene and really sets the tone for the book. Throughout this entire series, we’re presented with a group of individuals who are so much more than meets the eye. As old as time, they’ve lived throughout the human history, molding history like putty in their hands. In present day, these individuals all have serious choices to make: Do I continue down the path I’ve always walked, full of death, destruction and deceit, or do I carve out the new path that my heart yearns for?
Lasting Impressions: I was quite entertained, horrified and engrossed in this series from page 1 of Jenny Pox. The author created dynamic, interesting characters, a world rich with mythology that spans back to the beginning of time, horrific scenes and touching moments. I connected with the characters, even the not-so-sweet ones, and I was invested in their safety and future from the very beginning. To me, this is what a good story is all about.
Smashtastic Entertainment Scale: Wicked Enjoyable...more
Smashtastic Synopsis: Tommy Nightmare opens up with 12 year old Tommy in foster care. We learn that life is not good for Tommy. He is beaten by his religious wackadoo foster father and none of his foster brothers want anything to do with him because of the extreme fear he makes them all feel. A terrible incident occurs and Tommy finds a way out of his hellish home.
Tommy grows up and finds himself in prison. He notices Ashleigh on TV, and is inexplicably dawn to her. He uses his fear-inducing charm to break free, and finds himself in Fallen Oak. Tommy isn’t happy to discover that his “opposite” has been sent to an early grave, and he sets out to give Jenny and Seth something to really fear.
Interest in the book: Well, since I couldn’t put down Jenny Pox, it was obvious that I would jump directly to the next book in the series.
Characters: As evil as Tommy seemed to be, I was rooting for him. Not to kill of Jenny and Seth, but to find happiness. I hoped throughout this novel that his story would end on a positive, though Ashleigh got her claws in deep, yet again. Speaking of Ashleigh, just when you think a manipulative bitch can’t get more manipulative, the authors slaps you with total domination in heels. I’m all for Girl Power, but Ashleigh needs someone to teach her ass a lesson, ya hear? Jenny really matures in this novel. She’s become more brave but also more fearful, especially where her loved ones are concerned. There is a really touching scene between Jenny and her father that really choked me up. And we’re introduced to yet another character, Alexander, who literally creeped me out. Wondering his role in the last book, Alexander Death, sent my imagination into a frenzy!
Worldbuilding: I really enjoyed the author’s ability to keep the ball rolling as if Jenny Pox and this story were in the same book. The world expands in Tommy Nightmare as we are introduced to more characters, and the plot deepens as the stakes rise!
Lasting Impressions: Other than wanting to punch minor character Wooly in the face every time he opened his pie hole, I really, really enjoyed this book. I like how the story left characters scattered and angry, leaving so many possibilities for the final installment!
Smashtastic Entertainment Scale Damn near Perfect! Wicked Enjoyable Great Potential Mediocre Somewhat boring/confusing/lame Not very interesting Boo...more
Smashtastic Synopsis: Meet Jenny Morton, better known as Jenny Mittens in her small town of Fallen Oak. Jenny has a serious secret, and it’s one she has been suffering with her entire life. You see, one touch from Jenny will cause horrific boils, blisters and open sores to sprout on the infected area, and if she holds on a little too long, her plague will send you to an early grave. Eh. Not much different than the typical teenage worries, right?
Jenny has spent her entire short life being that weird girl who avoids human contact at all costs and wears long sleeves and gloves in the midst of a Southern summer. Jenny’s senior year of high school rolls around, and with it brings an event that sets Jenny’s life on a path she would never have dreamed possible. She discovers love via a young man named Seth, who is oddly able to withstand her diseased touch, but Jenny’s life has never been that simple. Seth is unfortunately smitten with his crazysauce girlfriend, aptly named Ashleigh, who possesses her own set of abnormal traits. As the three of them slowly learn of one another’s paranormal abilities, the story takes off into unheard of territory.
Jenny soon realizes that she may need to unleash her worst nightmare in order to save herself and the only man who is able to give her some semblance of normality. Oh, and sex! I mean, hello! Can you imagine life without human contact? Or sex, to be more exact. Jenny can’t either, so she grabs on to Sex Seth and doesn’t let go. Smart girl.
Interest in the book: Well, the premise is wicked cool. Plague-ridden Jenny meets Seth, the only human who doesn’t become infected by her touch. They fall in love, but not easily, as wackadoo Ashleigh has her claws in deep, and Seth is finding it difficult to separate himself from her holiness. Or is it slutiness? Oh wait. Ashleigh is a virgin. I keep forgetting that because it really doesn’t fit her personality. Shoot. I should be putting this in my Character section…
Characters: Jenny is a fairly normal teenage girl, minus the deadly touch and non-existent social life. She has a great father, who loves her unconditionally. Jenny’s mom is out of the picture, for reasons you shall uncover. I found Jenny to encompass many of the qualities I love in people: compassion, determination, loyalty. Seth surprises you. You don’t expect what you get from this young man, and I really found my self cheering for his victory throughout his dealings with the Devil Ashleigh. She isn’t really the devil, but we could debate her devilish qualities til the cows come home. Or the plague spreads. You pick.
Worldbuilding: Oh my. Just when you think this book is about three people with paranormal abilities, the author kicks up the lore and story into high gear, and presents the reader with a serious expansion of the world the likes of which will have your jaw hanging low. I really appreciated this amazing creative endeavor and was was pleased the story morphed into so much more than what we take at face value.
Lasting Impressions: All in all, this book really sent me on a joy ride through crazytown, but I loved the journey. The development of characters, the paranormal elements, the entertaining story that slaps you with surprise, the romance that makes your heart burst. It worked. It rocked. Read it.
Smashtastic Entertainment Scale
Damn near Perfect! Wicked Enjoyable Great Potential Mediocre Somewhat boring/confusing/lame Not very interesting Boo
“Will you keep me safe?” she whispered. ”I promise.” ”Then I’ll go anywhere with you.” ...more
Wow. Thea Harrison delivers again. And here I thought it didn’t get better than Dragos, but I might like Tiago a teeny bit more. Just a teeny. Tiago is an incredible character. As old as the skies, he’s a thunderbird whose been revered as a god a time or two in his long existence. He’s a sentinel for Dragos and a force of nature, literally. With a flap of his massive wings, he can send thunder bellowing from the sky. He’s stubborn as hell, doesn’t give Tricks breathing room and would readily rip a head off some shoulders at the drop of a hat if that head blurted a foul word Tricks’ way. Of course, this is also his draw. He is extremely head over heels crazy about her, which leads to serious protective tendencies. He is determined and supportive, if anything, so he comes up with a plan that will allow them to remain together, even after she takes her throne as the Dark Fae Queen. In the end, that man never lost faith in their union, and that is why he stole my heart!
Niniane (aka Tricks) is my favorite character in the series so far. I like her even more than the boys. *gasp* She is full of spunk, passion, courage and honesty. Plus, she uses Hello Kitty Band Aids, drinks Bubble Gum flavored Vodka and says things like “My give-a-shit button's broken.” She truly is a woman I need to hang out with. Stat. As far as her relationship with Tiago goes, she doesn’t accept it as easily, and loses her shit a few times. This only ensures that Tiago will be right there, refusing to let her history, nerves and lack of confidence stand in her way. He holds up her so that her view is unclouded, and she is able to clearly see what she can accomplish with him by her side.
I love the author’s masterful ability to go back and forth between two characters’ perspectives with ease. That isn’t an easy feat and she does it on the same page! Skill, people. She ensures that this romance has a slow build, and the frustration, fear and adoration is clearly palpable. She also gave us more beasties, like a medusa and djinn. All in all, I am way pleased....more
The story opens up as Dylan and his mother make a road trip to his grandmother’s house, who does not even know of Dylan’s existence. It seems as though mom hasn’t spoken to her parents since his birth. We soon learn that Dylan’s mother is not of strong-will when she abandons him. Dylan is used to his mother’s issues, however. She falls in love at the drop of a hat and when the relationship falls apart, she picks up her life and her son and moves them elsewhere. Yet, this is the first time she’s left him behind. To say Dylan’s life has been tough is an understatement.
Dylan gets to know his grandparents, who are my favorite people in the story. While in their care, a reoccurring dream is slowly becoming reality. He’s been dreaming about the same girl his entire life, and while the two never speak to one another, their draw is undeniable. Dylan can’t believe his eyes as he peers out into the forest overlooking his grandparent’s property and catches a glimpse of her! Needless to say, the hunt is on as he searches through the leafy wonderland in search of this elusive lady. And that, my friends, is when the story gets to gettin!
I enjoyed the author’s take on fae lore. While she never actually refers to anything in her book as fae – her creations are called firsts - she does mention the sidhe, and there is an aversion to cold iron. The magical beasties are pretty cool. The author created some naughty creatures! Millispits, which remind me of TrackerJackers from The Hunger Games, are deadly oversized bugs that hunt in packs. Creepy!
"Millispits. Tiny, winged amphibian-type creatures with sharp, serrated fingers, no mouths, and large, glowing eyes. Imperfectly created from magic to do two things: kill anything that moves with their serrated fingers and long, venom-filled tail, then die."
And the pux are a bunch of mischievous, dangerous Tinkerbell-sized creatures. They sneakily sprinkle their dust over you head and send you off to count sheep so they can do all kinds of not-so-fun things to you! And lastly, the villain in this book is foul, and I would gladly strangle him for Dylan. :)
The characters throughout the book are very likeable. I loved the grandparents, as well as Dylan’s meathead friend, Jason. Kera, the elusive lady, is very admirable. And Dylan, who doesn’t think things through before acting from his heart, is a very realistic teenager who you can’t help but want to hug. I enjoyed the first half of the book more than the 2nd half. However, the 2nd half is definitely the one that is full of danger and action. I am not sure I enjoyed how the book ended, but I definitely look forward to finding out more about Dylan’s past and future.
My interest in the book: The dystopian setting, of course! I’m a sucker for a good dystopian book. I was really drawn to it because of Settler’s Landing. I really love character-driven post-apocalyptic fiction, and was really interested to see how this group of people work together to build anew.
My Favorite Characters: My initial interest was in the characters, and unfortunately, my biggest issue is that I didn’t really connect to the characters. *insert sad face* Sure, I felt for Stephen’s situation, especially as the story progressed and certain events occurred. However, I didn’t go through the book really caring, one way or another, about what happened, to anyone. That being said, my favorite characters were outcast Jenny and ADHD Derek. Those two characters felt the most real to me. I always seem to adore the secondary characters. I will say this, however. Stephen grew on me as the book progressed. His thirst for knowledge and use of art in a therapeutic way sang to me.
Worldbuilding: I loved the setting of this book! In my mind, I was picturing the movie The Book of Eli. I don’t know how accurate that is to what the author was going for, but it worked for me. After China nuked USA with P11H3 - the eleventh plague – The Collapse occurred. I imagined Stephen and his father traveling long distances as they gathered up trinkets to sell, road hunters that search the lands for slaves, people searching for a semblance of hope in the company of others. The world was definitely a lot more interesting to me than the story or characters.
Lasting Impressions: I appreciated the author’s inclusion of racism/discrimination towards Jenny, and it reminded me of how we treated Muslims after 9/11. I love when authors challenge our biases and stereotypes. The setting of this book was my favorite piece, and while I didn’t really connect to any of the characters, I certainly wanted to see them prevail. All in all, it didn’t deliver the total package, but The Eleventh Plague was entertaining and interesting nonetheless....more
Kate is a very unlikely heroine and it was easy for me to connect with her. She’s your stereotypical nerd who wants to be a doctor when she grows up. She has epilepsy and lives with her younger brother and father. She volunteers for the football team, doing all sorts of odd jobs, including medical assistance. She works closely with the team’s doctor, Dr. Ho, aka “The Ho.” Kate’s brother, Jonah, was just as adorable, and I thoroughly enjoyed their scenes together. Geeky familial love FTW!
I’ve got to give credit to Carrie Harris for bringing the laughs. This book was extremely amusing in the best way possible and kept me entertained from start to finish. The zombie plot, however, was not as exciting as I’d hoped. While the zombie problems comes about in a weird, funny way, I don’t feel like the zombies were in the spotlight. Yes, they are the reason for Kate’s actions and propel the story forward, but they were too much in the background for my tastes. I am not sure I understand the cover or the title for this book, either.
The ending fell a bit flat but I definitely enjoyed the ride. The humor is what kept me engaged, as well as the characters. If you are looking for a non-challenging read that is fun, light and silly, then Bad Taste in Boys is perfect for you....more
Holy smokes! This book was a wild ride of awesome. I knew from the very start that this book would deliver because the very opening chapter sucks you in with a very gripping, horrifying scene. Let me preface by saying that this book is not for the faint of heart, and this very first scene may be extremely disturbing to some. But for me, a twisted, gore-lovin’, sicko – this scene spoke volumes for the disturbing story ahead. I was pleased to read a post-apocalyptic zombie book that was character-driven. This book reminds me a lot of The Walking Dead, with the heavy emphasis on survival and character relationships, and a healthy dose of zombie terror.
I enjoyed examining the two leading ladies, Katie and Jenni. It was interesting to experience how each lady dealt with Hell on earth, and more importantly, how their situation changes them. Jenni goes through the biggest transformation, and while it might seem confusing and irritating to some, all I could think of was the serious psychological symptomology. She starts out in severe shock over the demise of her family and ends up a gun-wielding, back-up-so-I-can-have-a-clear-shot-of-that-zombie-kid wack-a-doo. It was easy to laugh at Jenni, but for me, I just wanted to give her a big hug. She was obviously maladapting to her environment but she was in survival mode, and honestly, who knows how someone would act in this situation! I think we’d all be a bit nuts.
While this book is pretty serious throughout, the author threw us some laughs at just the right moments. Later in the story, you meet Juan, who really shines with his funny personality. My favorite scenes involve Juan and his light-hearted, inappropriate comments.
“Katie is a lesbian, but I don’t think---“
“No, no, dude, they’re together. Everyone knows it.” Juan grinned and nudged him with his elbow. “Too bad they don’t like guys. Maybe they’d invite one of us to have fun, you know, if they liked the ol’ man meat.”
Travis gave Juan a long look. “Man meat? Really?”
Juan is known as the local zombie expert because he’s read The Zombie Survival Guide a few dozen times. Juan soon realizes, in humorous ways, that maybe he doesn’t know as much as he thought.
“They’re breaking all the fucking zombie rules!”
All the secondary characters were glorious and each played an important role in the progression of the story. Jack the German Sheppard made my heart sing with joy. I really loved that the author made him a prominent fixture in the lives of her characters, as his companionship was much needed. Of course there is romance, and while I could have done without it, it didn’t take away from my love of this insane journey of survival and rebuilding....more
Faith, the Last Witch, is back with more spunk and courage than Vampyre Kisses. She was definitely more likeable in this installment. Zou Tai’s perspective is introduced in this book, and that made me extremely happy. He is my favorite character, along with Oran, who is just ridiculously awesome, and Mac. All the side characters in this series stand out way more than the main protags. Lilith, a mythological woman straight outta Jewish religious texts but whose mythology is completely different in this story, is a great addition to this book, as well.
The prologue was very interesting, and it captured my interest right away. I love that the author weaved in some Greek Mythology. Kudos! I also enjoyed the introduction of psychic vampires, which was a wicked cool idea. Instead of feeding off blood, they feed off people’s aura. The action in Werewolf Descent was better than Vampyre Kisses, and we get to see Trent’s jealousy rear it’s ugly head. So many paranormal men in Faith’s life are drawn to her, and they aren’t afraid to let it be known.
All in all, I definitely enjoyed Werewolf’s Descent more than Vampyre Kisses, I was more interested in this book. I still don’t think the romance is up to par with other paranormal romances, but the story is good nonetheless. I think the author’s writing has improved and her imagination was better portrayed. Multiple POVs are still a bit confusing but definitely better laid out.
Oh, and there is a vampire club called Lyck. ;)...more
EDIT: I wanted to update this review and state that I listened to it on audio. It was, hands down, the best audio book I've ever heard! I was told thaEDIT: I wanted to update this review and state that I listened to it on audio. It was, hands down, the best audio book I've ever heard! I was told that Libba won an award, and she deserves a million of them. I HIGHLY recommend this book on aduio.
I knew this book was going to be amusing. The cover sorta leads to that assumption. What I did not expect, however, was the mockery and satire within the pages. This book is a breath of fresh air in a world so full of unattainable, ridiculous ideals, corporate pigs and malicious media asshats. The author pokes fun at the ludicrous parts of society in order to bring attention to just how ludicrous they are, and I’m hoping that the young women who have read this book "get it.”
For us older, jaded, in-the-know folk, this book is hella funny and sad at the same time. I laughed at so many things in this book, but my mind immediately went to why it was so laughable, which is not very funny at all.
Case in point:
“Last but not least, let’s welcome Tiara Swan, Miss Mississippi. Fun fact about Tiara: She thought you could get pregnant from swimming with a guy.” Adina shook her head. “Oh my goodness! Don’t you just love abstinence program? So not helpful.”
Amen for calling our abstinence-only sex education programs! I agree with Adina. They are quite worthless. I work with teens and let me tell you, they definitely know a lot more than you would ever imagine, but they are also severely misinformed about so much. Why we miss out on the perfect opportunity to give them proper information on a serious subject is beyond my comprehension. GLBT, Racism, Sexuality, Sexual Health, Mental Health, our absurd ideals on beauty, Corporate monsters, and so much more are mocked throughout the book, yet it really does make one think…and pisses one off, too.
There were a ton of characters in the story, but we got to spend time with each contestant and get in her head, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Some are more memorable than others, but they each brought an integral piece to the overall point of the book. Of course, landing on a deserted island can really challenge a girl’s beauty rituals. It was damn fantastic to see how their world view changes throughout the book. Amen.
The set up of the book was fantastic. It opens with “A Word from your Sponsors” and it continues as though you are viewing a reality-tv-series-gone-seriously-wrong. I LOVED the author’s use of footnotes to explain her pop culture references. It was hysterical and I enjoyed figuring out the real-life person/product she was referring to. Oh, and serious Kudos to Libba, as I think there was a RENT reference in there. ♥
And in case you were wondering, I am most definitely a Lost Girl......more
Our protagonist, Gwyneth, is a normal teenage girl born into a family with the time travel gene. You heard me. It’s genetic. Cool, or not cool? Hmmm. I’m still undecided. Her cousin Charlotte has been training her entire life to time travel, as she is the one destined to be the next in line to do so. Or, so we think. Yes, you guessed it. Gwyneth is actually the next in line, unbeknownst to her and the entire family. This is particularly dangerous for Gwyneth, as time jumping is sporadic and uncontrollable, unless you have been prepared and know the “in” people.
Gwyneth's first few sporadic jumps in time are my favorite scenes in the story. One night, Gwyneth jumps into the past and ends up being chased through the home because they think she’s a burglar. Needless to say, Gwyneth needs proper training on this newly unwanted talent, so she tells her family, and this is when the meat of the story unfolds.
I haven’t read many time travel stories but I admit that they are tons of fun. This particular YA Fantasy novel is set in present-day London, and they travel back in time to different eras in London. The really cool part of the time travel piece is that the people in question travel back in time to the very spot they are currently standing. As you know, structures change over time, so a bedroom in the present day could be a dungeon in the past. I found this interpretation of time travel pretty interesting, and it made the novel more fun and suspenseful. I enjoyed the imagination behind this book, as well as the creep factor of the assumed bad guy. I am intrigued as to what we will uncover in Sapphire Blue…...more
I could tell immediately that I would enjoy this book. Someone mentioned on Twitter not long ago that they enjoy the Dystopian genre but really wanted to read something post-apocalyptic. In other words, they wanted to read a book that took place right after major catastrophe that changes the world forever. Well, I gotta say…this is the book! It was refreshing to read a post-apocalyptic storyline, even though I love the dystopian genre.
We first meet Jenna Barclay, daughter of nutty end-of-the-world prophet, Mitch Barclay, as a mysterious man holds her to gunpoint and kidnaps her. A crazy way to begin a story, but you soon learn that the kidnapper, Mason, isn’t a maniacal rapist. He’s only keeping a promise to Mitch, the same nut-job who provided him with the only semblance of family. Mitch asked Mason to keep Jenna safe when the shit hits the fan, as she will prove to be invaluable in the new Dark Age. And let me just say, the shit hath hitteth the fan.
Holed up in a cabin on the outskirts of town, Jenna slowly realizes that Mason might be speaking truth, as he produces a letter from her father, addressed to her. In the letter, Mitch explains everything. The Dark Age of Magic is real, and Jenna must survive it. Jenna and Mason are anything but friendly towards one another in the beginning, and even less so when Jenna cannot turn away a group of desperate people that Mason otherwise feels are dead weight. The group eventually decides to find the one sole survivor broadcasting over analog radio, which means leaving the safety of their cabin into the terrifying and extremely hazardous-to-your-life unknown. The party of characters have a dangerous, horrifying trek ahead of them, and their numbers undoubtedly dwindle. They fight their way through terrifying beasties in order to stay alive and save the human race.
The magical, twisted, foul creatures in this story were quite horrifying, and the scenes where human and beastie meet are nail-bitters! There is a serious twist to the story and it hit me like a Mack truck. I was not expecting it, whatsoever, and I must admit that I really enjoyed the turn in the story. It worked. It felt right and made this interesting, terrifying story even more intriguing. In the midst of mayhem, love blooms with passionate ferocity. I really enjoyed as Jenna and Mason fought their feelings for each other, and then I really enjoyed their fight to remain together. Great chemistry.
This book has a bit of everything: horror, romance, action, desperation, suspense, gore, tragedy, sex, and humanity. If you like post-apocalyptic / dystopian fantasy fiction, I think this one will be a great addition to your bookshelf. I thoroughly look forward to the sequel....more
I like historicals, especially when they are a royal setting. This book is pretty long, and I made it to 40% before I decided to throw in the towel. WI like historicals, especially when they are a royal setting. This book is pretty long, and I made it to 40% before I decided to throw in the towel. While the description of this world is quite beautiful, it is also this attention to detail that turns this book into a chore. I was finally becoming interested in the plot, but not enough to endure the pages and pages of details. I hate that I like the rich details but they are also the reason why I don’t want to bother finishing it. This is personal (and quite contradicting, I know), so don’t let it sway your opinion. All in all, a beautiful world with an interesting plot takes forever to get to. If you like historicals and rich details, give it a shot....more
Smashtastic Synopsis: Reychel finds herself free of slavery, but freedom comes at a high price in this world. Reychel's special gift is causing her much stress as an entire kingdom is depending on her to be their savior. Unfortunately, no one alive or available is able to teach Reychel how to control her gift, and her visions are quite sporadic. However, Reychel has one resource available to her: ancient journals from the original prophet. Will his words lead Reychel down the path to prophet extraordinaire, or bring her kingdom to its end?
Interest in the book: I was so impressed with Anathema, and knew I would continue the trilogy. Severed is coming out soon, so I decided to get to it!
Characters: Reychel is a pretty great young lady. She is compassionate, smart, steadfast and brave. She is completely lost about how to use her power, but refuses to stand by while a kingdom dies. Mark remains an important person in Reychel’s life, and I enjoyed his role in this book.
We are introduced to many new characters, and I must say that Krissin is the most interesting. She is equal parts intriguing and infuriating. I can’t wait to figure her out in Severed. I can’t forget our ancient but not forgotten prophet, Zelor, who lives on in his cryptic journals. He provides some nice drama to the story.
Worldbuilding: I enjoy how Oubliette begins immediately where Anathema left off. Reychel is running for her life, along with Nemison, the only person alive who can help Reychel learn how to control her gift. Or is it a curse? Unfortunately, Nemison is captured but not before he opens a portal and sends Reychel in to hiding. The world expands in this installment as Reychel is whisked off to another part of the kingdom and meets an entirely new set of faces of which she must decide are friend or foe. We are also introduced to the use of portals, and they play a tricky role in this story.
Lasting Impressions: I will admit that I did not enjoy this book as much as the first, mainly due to the change in scenery and introduction of a new cast of characters. I was definitely looking forward to more character and relationship development with Reychel and Mark, and I just didn’t get it. That being said, the story is still just as interesting, and I look forward to Severed. I said this in my review of Anathema, but I think lovers of Kristin Cashore’s Seven Kingdoms books will enjoy this series.
Smashtastic Entertainment Scale: Great Potential...more
For those of you in the know, Nightshade was one of my favorite reads of last year. Wolfsbane picks up right where Nighstahde left off. Calla wakes up to find herself in the company of Searchers, her lifelong enemies. They present to her a proposition, one that she can’t refuse if she wants to save Ren and her pack.
The author is a master at characterization. I fell in love with Calla, Ren, Shay, Ansel, Bryn and gang in Nighshade. Especially Shay and Ansel. However, this book is way more serious than Nightshade. Despair hangs in the air and life and death are all too friendly. The character’s personalities are dim because of the treacherous, grim environment. Their spirits are broken, and it hurt to experience them in such a way. I missed their bright, fun, adventurous personalities. We are introduced to new characters, and a few of them stood out to me. Ariadne is a Searcher, and her trade is a portal weaver. She is pretty snarky and I enjoyed her bravery. Connor is also a Searcher and quickly became one of my favorites. He is quite humorous and has a protective personality.
Calla and Shay are together through the majority of this book, but Ren is still ever present in Calla’s head. He is a force in her life that she cannot deny, and Shay suffers in silence. The love triangle is not a major part of the plot, thought it remains in the background, never letting the reader, or Calla, forget that she has a serious decision ahead of her.
There is a lot of lore and more world building in this installment. We hear many stories that build on the history of the Guardians, Keepers and Searchers, and we learn that what we knew was not completely true. There is also a lot of strategizing and fighting, as Calla and her new friends figure out how to save her pack from the hands of the Keepers, and implement their plans. Oh, speaking of the Keepers. We learn about a certain practice they do and it sickened me.
All in all, a nice, solid sequel, full of danger, loyalty, heartbreak, betrayal, action, love and bravery. I really can’t wait for Bloodrose!...more
Welcome to Vampire General: Where your blood donations are always welcome.
Aline Harman is an intern at a hospital when a car crash victim arrives. His Doctor, Dr. Rocque, also accompanies him, and begs Aline to allow him to save his life after he is already pronounced dead. Huh? So starts the interesting, unique and otherworldly experiences that Aline now faces. She ends up at Grace General (I was hoping for a more interesting hospital name), a hospital that caters to the ‘transhuman’ population. You know, mermaids, zombies, black widows, immortals and dreamy vampire docs, whose smex pheromones will have you on your knees. I predict fun times ahead for Aline!
This is a fast read, as Aline is thrown into supernatural medicine so quickly, her head is spinning. She meets another intern, vampire Cassie, who is uber entertaining. She is quite out there and I sometimes questioned her sanity. I refer to her as a ‘spaz’ and I think it fits. She brings much comical relief to this fast paced story.
“You should go home, Cassie,” she said. “You can’t keep doing this.”
”I would,” said Cassie, tears suddenly in her eyes. “But I’m back on in two hours! I don’t have time to go home and sleep and shower and get dressed and come back. I’d have to skip steps, and the way I am right now, I’m pretty sure it’s be getting dressed. And I can’t do that twice in a month. That’s the kind of thing that earns you a nickame.”
Aline also encounters a Black Widow. No, not the spider, but the mythological female that literally eats the hearts of her prey. She’s actually a pretty interesting character and not one you are immediately drawn to. In fact, you want to run away. Fast. But she has some redeeming qualities that pop up later on in the story.
This was my first medical-type story, and I definitely enjoyed it. Hubs is in med school so it was interesting to be able to apply my newly learned knowledge from him, and compare it to the happenings in the hospital. I also really enjoyed the mermaid culture that the author wove into he story. Mer-culture is quite harsh and a very, very superficial, beauty is everything type of society. Aline is faced with an ethical dilemma regarding her mermaid patient. As a social worker, I was very proud of her decision to stand up to authority and speak up for the welfare of her patients.
All in all, this was a fun, entertaining, quick read full of comedy, paranormal, danger and a bit of heat thrown in, too! The ending was the PERFECT cliffhanger and I very much look forward to Slash and Burn, due out this month....more
My heart hurts and my soul smiles as I relish in the magnificent beauty of this story...
Interest in the book: After reading If I Stay, I had no choice but to find out the fate of Mia and Adam. I dare you to ignore them.
Characters: In this book, Adam is our narrator and we are in his head for this agonizing, tumultuous journey. If you did not already love him, you will quickly fall as his apparent misery and longing for things lost will have you a sobbing mess. Adam is undeniably broken in this book, and struggles with the reality that Mia left for Julliard and never turned back. He has risen to rock star status and while music was once cathartic for him, he can no longer stand to be in the spotlight, much less out of his room. Adam’s depression is palpable, and through song lyrics at the beginning of every chapter, we get to see how he used music to emote. But it’s not enough anymore.
While I became instantly angry with Mia for leaving Adam behind without explanation, I knew she had good reason, in her mind. Whether or not I agreed with her decision is a moot point, but I respected her decision because it was how she chose to deal with the pain from If I Stay. However, the reason why she chose to leave him behind…is gut-wrenching, soul-ripping. Heartache on a page.
Worldbuilding: Much like If I Stay, this book is set over a 24 hour period. I really enjoyed the song lyrics at the beginning of every chapter, and it reinforces how much I believe that music, whether your write it, play it, sing it or listen to it, is cathartic and meaningful. The story is set in present tense, but just as we learned of Mia’s life through flashbacks, we are presented with Adam’s flashbacks to help fill in the past 3 years. It’s not a fun journey but it’s needed so the reader can understand Adam’s distress. The story is set in New York City, and once these two destined characters meet, we get to experience NYC as Mia takes Adam around to her favorite spots. The story culminates at Mia’s apartment, where heart and soul are delivered to you, a la Gayle Forman style.
Lasting Impressions: All in all, I enjoyed this book much better than If I Stay, but only because of how beautifully If I Stay set up the history and experiences that Mia and Adam endured. Adam’s POV was much more intense and interesting, but I mostly loved seeing Mia through his eyes. My favorite passage below is the perfect example of how much Adam loathed and loved Mia simultaneously, but in reality, his pain and rejection were clouding his undying, passionate love for her. He knew it. We knew it. Now it’s Mia’s turn to be enlightened.
I look at her there in the shadows of the shut-down city, her hair falling onto her face, and I can see her trying to figure out if I’ve lost it. And I have to fight the urge to take her by the shoulders and slam her against a shuttered building until we feel vibrations ringing through both of us. Because I suddenly want to hear her bones rattle. I want to feel the softness of her flesh give, to hear her gasp as my hip bone jams into her. I want to yank her head back until her neck is exposed. I want to rip my hands through her hair until her breath is labored. I want to make her cry and then lick up the tears. And then I want to take my mouth to hers, to devour her alive, to transmit all the things she can’t understand.