I was lucky enough to get a copy of Courtney Summers' Some Girls Are through Library Thing's Early Reviewer's program--and I'm so glad that I did.
Some...moreI was lucky enough to get a copy of Courtney Summers' Some Girls Are through Library Thing's Early Reviewer's program--and I'm so glad that I did.
Some Girls Are is a tale of high school bullying (among girls) at, possibly, its worst. Regina Afton is one of the 'Fearsome Fivesome'-the It Girls of her school, but after a rumor starts circulating around school and she's 'frozen out' she sees that as up as she was, she's about to be down.
Reading almost like a Lifetime movie about just how terrible high school girls can be (with plot and depth added in and melodrama taken out), Some Girls Are has possibly the evilest character of any book I've read (supernatural or contemporary). The character I mean (and I'm not mentioning by name on purpose) brought to mind the quote which I think is from Supernatural, "Demons I get, people are crazy," because it was hard to believe she could really be that uncaring and truly mean. And yet, with the story, it wasn't out of place or unbelievable.
The teenagers in the book certainly aren't squeaky clean in the slightest but they also felt not like some out of touch person's view of 'teens today' rather they seemed like real teens at parties, etc.
Regina was a great central character because she really was one of the mean girls and developed from that through the story. She didn't lose her friends and suddenly see the wrongs of her ways and love the 'little people' of high school, she was still a mean girl--just a lonely one. Showing Regina's progression and giving her a past aside from 'she made other people's lives horrible' was what really made this book work, I think.
After reading Courtney Summers' first book Cracked Up to Be and loving it as much as I did, I expected a lot out of Some Girls Are but it delivered.
thank you to Library Thing Early Reviewers & St Martin's Griffin for the book (reviews at book-splot.blogspot.com)(less)
Zombie Settler Megan Berry is back with more crazy, not normal (even for those used to dealing with zombies) adventures. [Goodreads page for the first...moreZombie Settler Megan Berry is back with more crazy, not normal (even for those used to dealing with zombies) adventures. [Goodreads page for the first book [book:You Are So Undead to Me|3965854]]
Megan's so busy with her training (and his) that she and Ethan barely have any time together, but during a rare moment together in his car, they're enjoying some quality alone time when an Undead interrupts. Cliff, who already knows just who Megan is, just felt like going for a walk so it's Megan's duty to take him back to his grave and Settle him (interrupting her date, of course). And so begins a weird chain of events that not only brings out more not-of-the-norm Undead, but also finds Megan accused of some pretty heinous crimes and struggling to clean her name.
Undead Much was really a great sequel to You Are So Undead to Me. The characters were consistent from the last book but also more developed and grew from where they were in the first story and the zombie mythology was also consistent (but built on).
I really liked that the back story from the first book wasn't just laid out in the first few pages as a point by point reminder, but built into the first few chapters so that if you'd read the first book (but forgotten some things) you were reminded with it still being a part of the story that you could enjoy if you didn't read the first book (which you should!). This book definitely measures up to the first and left me really, really wanting to read a third (and probably fourth, etc). (And not only because of the cliffhanger ending.)
The end ending was really unexpected and great but the ending, while being really good, wasn't amazing so that's why the 8.
It was definitely appreciated that this book worked so well with the last book an didn't just change everything completely, but also came up with new things so that it was as great as it was. This was probably the best way to do a sequel/series.
Firespell is the start of Chloe Neill's young adult series (her adult series is the Chicagoland Vampire Series). Being the start of a series it does d...moreFirespell is the start of Chloe Neill's young adult series (her adult series is the Chicagoland Vampire Series). Being the start of a series it does do a fair bit of setting up the characters and the setting and getting to the actual paranormal activity (and yes, I do sound like Ghost Hunters or something) but none of that takes away from the story--just makes it hard to summarize.
Sent to fancy, well to do St Sophia's boarding school in Chicago (from upstate New York) when her parents leave for work in Germany, Lily feels more than a little bit out of place. The old stone building is cold and full of girls she doesn't know in blue plaid uniforms. And it's not home.
Scout, one of her suite mates, is about the only thing keeping her from going completely over the edge of homesickness. Except Scout disappears to strange places in the middle of the night.
And that's where the fun-ness begins and my summarizing ends.
Firespell is a book that gets you from page one. While it is true that it doesn't jump right into the action, I actually prefer that because you know who the characters are and where they are and why and then the spooky makes sense. (And really, really makes me want to read other Dark Elite books to see where it goes.)
The things that literally go bump in the night for Lily and Co also aren't things that are in twenty other books out at the moment so it's a fresh take on things and a nice change of pace to read something new but still in the otherworldly area.
All of that is not to mention Chloe Neill's writing and her characters (and especially their language/what they say-slash-think) which I just love. Like truly, madly, deeply in the way of the song ;)
When authors who write 'adult' books or series then write YA series, I always wonder if their teens are going to seem like teens r just twenty-somethings who are attending high school, but these teens were teens. Super fun, evil fighting teens, but still teens.
Being the first in a series it leaves some things open for future books, but not so many that you feel like this, the first book, is left unresolved.
And it's in Chicago which I miss and love so that's points there, too. Oh, and it's $6,99 so honestly where do you go wrong?
Read Firespell and you'l probably be looking for Some Girls Bite the first book in the Chicagoland Vampires series (it comes up whenever I search Some Girls Are so you can just buy both),
and an extra large, humongous thank you to Chloe Neill and the publisher for sending me this book!!(less)
Split by Stefan Petrucha is just one of the many great (or what seem to be great) books coming out today and the one I've been lucky enough to read al...moreSplit by Stefan Petrucha is just one of the many great (or what seem to be great) books coming out today and the one I've been lucky enough to read already. Split is described as 'Sliding Doors meets Fight Club' and the description seems incredibly apt. Main character Wade Jackson feels torn between his love of guitar playing and writing music and his need to be the perfect student.
It all comes to a head when his mother dies (at the start of the book) and he's forced to choose between the two paths, to truly commit himself to one endeavor or the other and whatever path that will inevitably take him on.
But that's where things get interesting in Split. Wade doesn't just turn into the model student or become the on-the-edge rocker....he becomes both. Through a split in consciousness, told in alternating chapters (and alternating worlds really), Split follows the two Wades--each who makes the decisions they feel is the right one--as one becomes the strive-for-the-best student and one lives on the fringe, gambling, dealing with people on the edge of society and working towards being a dive-bar singer. All leading towards when their live(s) just might collide again.
I have to start by saying that I have never read a book like Split. There are a lot of books that alternate chapters and even try parallel worlds or universes or similar things but I don't think I've heard of a book that's actually split the character into, well, two like this one did.
I enjoyed that the two characters (two Wades) were so different but it was obvious that they had both started at the same place, too. They weren't so, so different that it was unbelievable that they'd just made different choices but not similar enough that you couldn't understand how simple choice could change your life. I do think it would have been interesting, though, to have each of them remember more of their past to see how differently they would have seen things-if that would have been possible.
I think that the book will be more appealing to a different audience, however, because the book didn't focus just on the characters but on a rather interesting plot involving particle accelerators in one Wade's world and loan sharks and very, very not upstanding citizens in the other Wade's, both of whom were bringing impending doom to the Wades. Things were definitely interesting and new enough that it kept me guessing at just how all of this was going to come together and how on Earth it all went together.
Using the particle accelerator that could possibly end the world as the center piece for a book about a teen that splits his conscious self in two sounds pretty odd, but it actually works pretty well. And this is one of those YA books that should work for boys as well as (if not better than) girls so points there, too (& it's made me interested in The Rule of Won which I actually wasn't really before).