The night of Skye's seventeenth birthday - during the surprise party she told her friends not to throw yet again - she meets two strangers. Both are mThe night of Skye's seventeenth birthday - during the surprise party she told her friends not to throw yet again - she meets two strangers. Both are mysterious in their own right, yet complete opposites of each other: one is dark haired and reckless, the other fair and controlled. Opposite ends of the spectrum, yet both incredibly appealing to Skye who can't get them out of her head.
Or her life it seems. Both boys, Asher the daring one and Devin the calm one, seem to keep popping up at every moment.
Skye isn't sure what the boys want from her, all she knows is that she finds herself drawn to both of them . . . and that strange things started happening to and around her once they made their appearance in town. Soon, she's not only questioning who these 'cousins' that can't stand each other are, but what it might mean about her present - and her past.
In the beginning - and even into the middle - of A Beautiful Dark there are a lot of hints that something paranormal is afoot. It's not clear what it is or even, necessarily, just who it involves but for at least half of the book, there are a lot of hints dropped that something is eventually going to be revealed - both to Skye and to the reader.
It makes that first part of the book a quick read. The reader can't help but wonder where all these hints are going and what it's all leading to. While that's all happening, we get a nice introduction to the different characters - Skye and her friends Cassie, Dan and Ian as well as Devin and Asher. We learn some of Skye's story - what's happened in her seventeen years of life.
However, once that paranormal 'what' of all those clues was revealed, you're left waiting. Waiting for something a little more emotional, for something with a little more action, just . . . more. Maybe there were too many little hints that something was coming and not enough of the something in this book (its a trilogy)? There just wasn't that emotional connection or that real oomph where you really engage as a reader.
The beginning was much better than the end . . .personally, I'm not even sure how I feel about the end. I am holding out hope for the other two books in this trilogy, though. There was a lot of good setup in this first book and I'm hoping that with more time/room to expand the rest can really grow.
thank you to the publisher for my copy of this book for review....more
Dear Everyone: Buy this book! Or at least get it from the library and read it!! Sincerely, Me.
Die for Me is one of those books you find yourself wantiDear Everyone: Buy this book! Or at least get it from the library and read it!! Sincerely, Me.
Die for Me is one of those books you find yourself wanting to find people simply so you can recommend it to them, holing it up to your friends and saying, "Read this!"
After Kate and Georgia's parents are killed in a car accident they make the fateful decisions to leave New York behind and live with their paternal grandparents in a city they've visited every summer, Paris.
While Georgia, the older sister, is ready to get out and live, Kate needs some coaxing to even leave the apartment.
When she finally does, chance encounters lead her to meet Vincent. Vincent Delacroix is handsome, charming--and everything else a teenage girl could ever dream of wanting in a boy. Kate knows she could easily fall for Vincent if she only gave herself the chance.
But Vincent also brings danger with him. Not exactly human, Vincent also has some secrets he'll have to share with Kate . . . and some enemies.
Is Kate willing to put herself and what's left of her family in danger to take a chance at true love?
Die for Me is unlike any other paranormal I've read--or read about. Those who liked Twilight by Stephenie Meyer or Dead Beautifulby Yvonne Woon should love it--those who didn't like either of those books should love it.
It's almost impossible to read Die for Me and believe that it's author Amy Plum is a debut author and hasn't written other (published) things to get to this level of storytelling. While other paranormal tales run the risk of having no story for readers to connect with or enjoy if the supernatural element were to be removed, that's not true here. Plum developed such great chemistry between not only her romantic lead but also the side characters and a connection between the familial characters that, (though you can't separate the story like that) you can see them carrying a story on their own.
Each of the characters has their own unique personality and traits with each doing things that, while possibly seeming trivial at the time, come back to play a part in the book's plot later. The plot is complex without always seeming so. (A definite good thing.)
The paranormal sort of mythos that Amy Plum created here is really pretty amazing. The detail she gave it really draws you in and connects the reader with all of the characters-and their stories. (If there were any holes in the logic, I certainly didn't find them.) I am absolutely thrilled this is going to be a series because I cannot wait to read more about these characters and hopefully their relationships with each other. (I want to know what Jules' thing 'is about' and more with Charlotte, mostly Jules though ;) ... and no more almost spoilerness.)
One last thing: Die for Me is perfectly set in Paris and Paris is the perfect setting for Die for Me. This book truly could not have taken place anywhere else. Paris absolutely sets the scene for everything. It sets the mood and give off a feeling for the reader. The things we learn about daily life in Paris are just cream for the delicious French pastry.
(Not to mention, I think I'll forever read revenants with a French accent.)
biggest of big thank yous to Harper for my review copy!!!...more
In this sequel to Confessions of a First Daughter, Cassidy Calloway brings back Morgan (Secret Service code name 'Tornado') Abbott, Secret Agent Max JIn this sequel to Confessions of a First Daughter, Cassidy Calloway brings back Morgan (Secret Service code name 'Tornado') Abbott, Secret Agent Max Jackson, Morgan's best friend Hannah and the rest of the characters.
With Brittany Whittaker no longer the class President (after stealing Morgan's platform for the speech only to jump on the President, Morgan's mom, during a press conference, sure she was Morgan and be forced out by the school for fear or humiliation and scandal) Morgan is now the class President and she has her boyfriend in her former secret service agent Max Jackson--even if they have to keep their relationship secret.
Things should be going well for her, right? Except she's still clumsy as ever, still has grades that might not even get her out of high school (and two genius parents so every one expects more from her), everyone's on her about where the President's Daughter is going to go to college, Brittany's still causing havoc, and she has to keep things with Max secret.
Add in a Presidential trip to London with Morgan and her usual knack for attracting disaster coming too, to the mix and you have quite a tale.
Secrets of a First Daughter was (like Confessions) another fun, quirky cute and quick read by Cassidy Calloway. Morgan is a really well developed character that has to deal with the typical end of high school things everyone has to deal with (grades, college applications, growing up) but with the increased pressure of being the daughter of the President of the United States and with the press following her around. Though she has stress from things none of the rest of us would have to deal with, she still stays very easy to relate to and it's very enjoyable to read about her.
Her best friend Hannah--who has more of a storyline with a male character from the first book in this story--is a great addition to the novel and works well with Morgan but also adds a quite a bit to the plot, too. I'm really glad that Max was back in this book and continued to have some story of his own and wasn't just the agent that used to protect Morgan/now dated her. He's a really interesting guy and I kind of wished things were longer so that there could be more of him.
I loved the plot of this book (which I can't share too much of or it would be super spoilery). I did like though that it still involved enough politics to make it logical but also involved Morgan's teenage life and friends and school in a way that made it all great for a YA book. It was very well balanced and woven together.
I do agree with reviews written that readers who liked Meg Cabot's All-American Girl books will like these books--but I also think you'll like these if you didn't like those. I never quite liked that book's main character, but I love Morgan. I hope that Cassidy Calloway writes some more even if t's not about Morgan and co.
There's Brooke the popular, "It" girl of her high school. Almost anyone does her bidding. And she hates it. All she really wants to do is use her singThere's Brooke the popular, "It" girl of her high school. Almost anyone does her bidding. And she hates it. All she really wants to do is use her singing voice to get herself back to New York--where her family lived before her father left her family for a male movie star.
Then there's Kathryn who's been a social outcast ever since Brooke punched her at a party junior year. Kathryn the overachiever--who's family has very little money--is also counting on her singing to get her out of their tiny Minnesota town, to college.
Brooke and Kathryn might rivals now but they used to be friends . . .
Tiny Lake Champion, Minnesota might not have much to offer two aspiring opera singers, but it does have the prestigious Blackmore competition. With entrants from all over the country and a prize that would bring them both the needed money and prestige to get where they want, Brooke and Kathryn are both looking to the Blackmore to save them.
These two former friends who are not bitter rivals will have to compete against each other on the biggest stage of their lives. And they just might find, again, that friendship they lost so suddenly the year before.
Rival doesn't rely on romance to propel it through to the end. It's not about horribly mean girls (while it does have some pretty mean ones) nor is it about crazy drunken or drug doing teens.
Rival is awesome because it is about two girls who used to be friends until something drove them apart. That something isn't revealed right away, but while the story alternates between Junior and Senior years we see Brooke and Kathryn as they are now and as they were as friends. While Rival does show how cruel girls can be, it's not the sole focus of the story--and it is realistic.
I love how much of the book is about the girls' singing and their ambitions. Anyone who did anything with theatre or chorus, etc in school--or just likes watching Glee!--should love Rival for this aspect alone. I think having the music/singing be so much the focus brings a unique aspect to Rival. Not only does it give the book something very unique, but it gives Brooke and Kathryn something in common and keeps them together throughout the story.
Friendship (or lack thereof) really drives Rival and it was really refreshing to read a book that wasn't about girls going gaga over a boy or debating the best way to get a date. It's not that Rival is innocent . . . it just focuses on a part of life that exists and is important but seems to get overlooked in books.
(There is still some romance in Rival, however, and I absolutely, absolutely love it! Love the main male character, as well.)
For as long as she can remember, seventeen-year-old Haven Moore has had 'visions' of the past. During her fainting spells she not only loses consciousFor as long as she can remember, seventeen-year-old Haven Moore has had 'visions' of the past. During her fainting spells she not only loses consciousness, but also sees events from the past, of her being girl named Constance and with a boy named Ethan.
In elementary school, Haven made the mistake of telling someone about Ethan and since then she's been the outcast of little Snope City, Tennessee. A senior in high school now, Haven, still plagued by her visions, has made it through by creating a dress making business with her gay best friend, the hunky football player Beau.
She's kept her visions a secret, though, as her uber religious grandmother (Haven's guardian) thinks they're demonic.
When Haven's grandmother takes away the promise of Haven leaving Snope City for college in a few short months and really brings on the hellfire and brimstone, Haven knows she has to act. After seeing a young man named Iain Morrow on television and in numerous gossip magazines, making an immediate connection and reading about the Ouroboros Society, both in New York--and them connecting some of her statements and drawings when she was younger, Haven knows she has to get away from Snope City. And to New York City.
What awaits her there is just about anybodies guess.
The Eternal Ones is so much more than a tale of love at first sight or reincarnation or just another paranormal love story; it's a mystery, a thriller, and a romance all rolled together.
The mixture of the Southern, fire and brimstone religion that works its way into the story is really well done. It's not just some random bit of church thrown in to counteract the 'other' of the paranormal but a part of the characters and an integral part of the story that also makes it markedly more interesting without ever actually mocking anyone.
The Ouroboros Society was also much more well developed that I had thought it was going to be. I will admit that I went into reading this book thinking it was going to be something like "Haven discovers she's been reincarnated, finds out who her love is in this life, finds him voila." Obviously with some trouble mixed in there somewhere, but nothing like the book I read. There was much more to this on all fronts and I loved it for that. The Ouroboros Society played into that 'much more' very well. The closest thing I can thing to describe it to is probably Scientology for the Reincarnated. It's the organization, housed in NYC, where people that believe they've had past lives go. Much, much more about it is unveiled as the story progresses.
Beau and Haven were great characters to start the story. Having a gay best friend for the Southern girl could have been cliched, but it wasn't because Beau was a very well developed character. He was his own part of the story and unique as well as very important to the plot. I loved the interaction between Beau and Haven and almost wished there would have been more between the two of them.
Haven was a great main character. She wasn't wimpy or passive, but she also wasn't Miss Super Tough Girl who didn't need anyone at all and could figure everything out on her own. Kirsten Miller reached a nice middle ground with her that made Haven real and the reading about her very enjoyable.
As crazy as her family was, they were also realistic. I felt bad for Haven having to deal with them, but they provided a very believable motivation and background for her.
The rest of the characters were ambiguous enough to leave things confusing when they needed to be confusing, but believable when they needed to be believed and accepted.
With Haven leaving her grandmother's good versus evil behind, she finds herself faced with a whole new battle over what (and who) is good and who, just might be, evil. And whether she'll ever be able to tell the difference.