Entertaining, but a little too light and silly, yet also broody and angsty for my taste, at this moment in time. I know, it was a weird combination fo...moreEntertaining, but a little too light and silly, yet also broody and angsty for my taste, at this moment in time. I know, it was a weird combination for me too. I wonder if I would have liked it better had I not been reading while visiting my family at Christmas. Entirely possible. BUT I think readers, especially young ones, who are looking for something a little different than the typical vampire/werewolf paranormal romance will find this endearing. I also think that it is always nice to have books involving vampires and/or werewolves that you can recommend to male readers. I even think this would appeal to the reluctant ones. (less)
Just as I begin getting weary of the glut of dystopian/ post-apocalyptic teen literature flooding the market these days (see my review for X-Isle- I a...moreJust as I begin getting weary of the glut of dystopian/ post-apocalyptic teen literature flooding the market these days (see my review for X-Isle- I am still mad about Fart Club), along comes a gem in the bucket, and I am reminded why I have enjoyed this genre since *I* was a teen. This is such a book.
I thought this book stood apart from the crowd because of its excellent writing, characters, world-building and sense of thrilling danger. Literally, there is danger at every turn, yet our protagonist accepts this without questions, because that is what Deuce has been training for her whole, short and miserable life.
Highly recommended for fans of The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, strong female characters, and spooky/creepy action adventure novels. Not recommended for the squeamish, or those easily offended by talk of "breeding" and or curse words.(less)
Ruby is a teenager, but one who has been growing up for a long time. A very long time. She, her mother, and their fellow "Congregants" are prisoners o...moreRuby is a teenager, but one who has been growing up for a long time. A very long time. She, her mother, and their fellow "Congregants" are prisoners on a mountain, forced every day to use cups and spoons to collect water and dew drops from the undersides of plants in the forest. They are rarely fed, and if they don't meet their daily quota, the beatings are usually brutal and severe, and almost exclusively focused on Ruby's mother. But that is OK, because every night, Ruby treats her with some of the sacred "Water" and her mother heals, enough to carry on to the next day. This is the routine of their miserable lives, and it has been ever since they ran away from town and sought refuge on the mountain, 200 years ago.
Wait. What? Yes, I read that right- they have been living like this for 200 years, stuck in time, while the world outside has continued unknowingly and become the normal modern one in which we all live comfortably. It is something about the Water, see, that helps them live so long and heal so fast, and Ruby has something to add to the water that makes her the most special Congregant of all. But she is tired of this life, and yearns for something more, without knowing how she could possibly change any of this misery. That is until Ford shows up as one of the new guards. He is different and they are immediately drawn to each other into a forbidden relationship full of tenderness and danger.
Compulsively readable but ultimately a tad disappointing. As I was reading this book, I couldn't help but have a sense I was reading another "The Giver" thanks to the atmosphere and "vibe" of the story. I do think it flowed well and I was burning to find out what exactly was going on. However, the answers I stayed up way too late into the night to find were not there at the end. Will there be a sequel, or do we have to satisfied with never knowing exactly what is going on with the water, Otto, or The Visitor? (less)
It is getting harder and harder for me to say "I am not that big a fan of zombies" when I seem to be reading a pretty fair amount of zombie novels. Bu...moreIt is getting harder and harder for me to say "I am not that big a fan of zombies" when I seem to be reading a pretty fair amount of zombie novels. But after finishing my first adult zombie novel by Jonathan Maberry, I feel I might as well just give up, call myself a fan, and jump whole-heartedly into the rest of his body of work. This book, while not quite as emotionally engaging as Rot & Ruin, still packed a pretty big whallop as it tells the story of an unsuspecting town at the heart of a zombie explosion. My house remains a mess, but thank goodness I took the time and finished this book before I had to go another night with it rambling around in my head while I tried to sleep.(less)
Holy creeps, this was a good ghost story! Definitely recommended for readers who like to be scared, this book is not for the faint of heart or those e...moreHoly creeps, this was a good ghost story! Definitely recommended for readers who like to be scared, this book is not for the faint of heart or those easily grossed out. (Contains violence, blood, thrills, chills and curse words or various kinds.)
Cas is NOT a normal teenager. His father was a ghost hunter who used a special heirloom blade to banish the spirits and when dad was eaten by a ghost, the blade, and job duties, fell on his shoulders. Sometimes he is OK with this, sometimes he is not. He isn't really sure where the spirits go once he dispatches them with his blade, so he tries not to think about it too hard. But one thing is certain- there ARE ghosts out there that kill people, and those are the ones that he wants to stop, one way or another.
So that is why he finds himself in Canada, pursuing a lead about a deadly ghost named Anna Dressed in Blood. I like the way he investigated by befriending (using?) the local students right away, but this leads to BIG trouble for Cas, and his new "friends." And I mean big trouble of the kind that can "reach though windows and rip you in half" big trouble.
Up until his first encounter with Anna, this book was doing a good job of setting the pace, showing us the world that Cas lives in and the attitudes he carries around inside. But once he sees Anna for the first time, I felt like the beginning of the book was just that part of the roller coaster ride where you are going very slowly up the hill, kind of dreading what's coming but not really sure what will be on the other side. And then- WHOA NELLY! You had better hang on for dear life. There was one part of this book, towards the end, that I read and my heart started pounding so furiously I could hardly breath. And wouldn't you know it- THAT was the exact moment I had to put it down and leave for work. I almost called in late to work, but I knew that if I kept going right then, I wouldn't stop until I was totally finished and that would have made me REALLY late for work. :-)
Ultimately, a very satisfying, thrilling and well-written ghost tale that I think will appeal to both teens and adults. Highly recommended.(less)
An interesting premise and more a study of the small lives and community after a devastating series of events has reduced the America as we know it to...moreAn interesting premise and more a study of the small lives and community after a devastating series of events has reduced the America as we know it to rubble, but I feel I may be getting weary of dystopian fiction. That will probabably last until next week...(less)
Extremely moving and compulsively readable, as usual for Ellen Hopkins. Another great volume in her body of work that tells the story of several teens...moreExtremely moving and compulsively readable, as usual for Ellen Hopkins. Another great volume in her body of work that tells the story of several teens, in verse, of how the stress of maintaining a "perfect" facade on the outside can eat away at the person from within. There is the teen with an eating disorder, another is jock into steroids, a boy who doesn't know how to tell his parents he wants to follow his dreams of being a dancer, a girl who longs for her father's long lost love and finds inappropriate ways to show her distain for the notion of romantic love, and a girl discovering that along the path of her perfectly planned out life there might be a detour involving her sexuality, and her happiness. Some of the content may be shocking, but if you have read Ellen Hopkins before, you know to expect that. It is not gratuitous. If you don't believe that these are real issues being faced by real teens in today's world, then please continue to wear your rose colored glasses.(less)
I really enjoyed this book, as I do all of Flanagan's works, but I felt that for the first in a new series, the formula seemed a little bit too famila...moreI really enjoyed this book, as I do all of Flanagan's works, but I felt that for the first in a new series, the formula seemed a little bit too familar. The main character, named Hal, is the son of a freed Arulean slave and his deceased Skandian warrior father. So not necessarily an orphan, but an outcast because of his Arulean blood. He is mentored by his father's one-time best friend, a one-armed man name Thorn who is gruff but lovable, wise, influential and a total bada$$ once upon a time. Hal has a very large, strong best friend, but he gets by OK with his quick wits. So where this is going...?
Don't get me wrong- I gulped this book down like a cool drink of water on a hot day. But I was really hoping for some cold root beer. :-)(less)
Cute, but I have to admit I enjoyed the first one more. This is still good for tween/teens who are looking for a light-hearted, silly romance, and/or...moreCute, but I have to admit I enjoyed the first one more. This is still good for tween/teens who are looking for a light-hearted, silly romance, and/or love mermaids. (less)
I wish I could give this book 5 stars, because I was really loving each and every story in it and thought they were all very clever in the different w...moreI wish I could give this book 5 stars, because I was really loving each and every story in it and thought they were all very clever in the different ways they portrayed the myriad genres of geekdom. And then I got to Barry Lyga's story, "The Truth About Dino Girl." This single story knocked two stars off my review and I admit I was tempted to give the whole book a 1 star, but that would be unfair to the other authors who told sweet, thoughtful, funny and sometimes a little painfully-close-to-home stories of teens discovering their inner geek. But Katya, i.e. "Dino Girl" does something so far beyond the pale, I had a crisis of conscience trying to figure out if I could recommend this book or not, to anyone.
In Lyga's story Katya has an obsessive interest in dinosaurs...and Andi. But Andi has a girlfriend named Jamie. Katya knows her crush is an impossible dream, and that is wy she isn't even jealous of Jamie. Instead, she hopes against hope to become friends with her, to become more like her, and then, perhaps, Andi would notice her a bit more. But one day Jamie is mean to poor Katya and hurts her feelings. OK, that's seems pretty normal so far. Wouldn't you react rather badly after bumping into a weird geek girl in the hallway and seeing your boyfriend's tattoo design scribbled ALL OVER her notebook? Anger-inducing for Jamie, mortifying for Katya- understandable all around. But once she regains her composure, Katya goes from hurt feelings to anger, and suddenly decides it is time for the "prey to become the predator." Here is where it gets unforgiveable to me...
Over a period of several months, Katya plots her revenge. Step one, she sneaks into the girls' locker room and takes a picture of Jamie naked. Step two, she has her friend photoshop the photo so it looks like Jamie is in a sleazy hotel room and not a recognizable locker room. Step three, they make posters with this picture and the caption "I LIKE SEX!" and use Jamie's real phone number. And the absolutely horrible awful no-good Step Four? They hang these posters up all over town, on telephone and light poles, fences, etc. And that's it. THAT. IS. IT. The story finishes with Katya patting herself on the back because her actions have made Andi and Jamie break up.
Ooooookay. So in today's world, how many laws do you think Katya broke, boys and girls? With all the headlines of cyberbullying getting out of hand, taunting at school and horrible, senseless suicides, I think Katya is darn lucky Jamie DIDN'T do something much, much worse, like kill herself. This behavior is inexcusable, and I don't care if it is the "geek" getting revenge on the popular mean girl. If people who feel like they are the downtrodden and forgotten think is is NOT OK to be bullied, but then they go and perform such a hateful act on someone else, how can they hold themselves apart from the worst of the bullies? THEY CAN'T.
And that is why I really wanted to love this book, but could not give it the five stars all the other stories deserved. (less)
Please don't let this be the last volume! This series is simply the best horror for young adults I have ever read, and I am even pushing it on my adul...morePlease don't let this be the last volume! This series is simply the best horror for young adults I have ever read, and I am even pushing it on my adult friends too.(less)
Pretty good suspense and mystery. Four teens live on a remote island and become involved in a cold-case murder mystery, plus illicit gentic research....morePretty good suspense and mystery. Four teens live on a remote island and become involved in a cold-case murder mystery, plus illicit gentic research. what happens when they become accidentally infected with the new virus while rescuing a trapped puppy? Very interesting things. I look forward to reading the next book to see how their powers, and friendship, continues to develop. (less)
This book brilliantly concludes The Ranger's Apprentice series by giving the readers the closure they never knew they needed, and answers to questions...moreThis book brilliantly concludes The Ranger's Apprentice series by giving the readers the closure they never knew they needed, and answers to questions the author was often asked. It also have a clever way of setting up Flanagan's next series, which I hope will be just as good, if not better. I was sad to say goodbye to Will, Halt, Horace, Tug and the rest of the family we have come to love, but I thank John Flanagan for giving us this last parting gift. (less)
Not quite what I thought it was going to be, this book actually seemed to be set in an alternate present instead of a dystopian future. Many referencs...moreNot quite what I thought it was going to be, this book actually seemed to be set in an alternate present instead of a dystopian future. Many referencs to current pop-culture memes and icons were jarring at first, because I expected the dystopia setting, but once I got used to it,it seemed to flow a bit better. Until I ran into the dialogue. It was a unique way of writing dialogue, to be sure, but one that I found totally distanced me from the characters and the action. My internal voice that usually "sounds" like the characters as I read their very own words was flat, and inny, as if I was hearing them through a tunnel or from a far distance. I had hoped I would get used to the writing in this regard, but I never did. The story itself was all right, and might appeal to fans of the Hunger Games, but it lacked the urgency and danger and yes,a lot of the excitement found in those books. The gore was very minimal, with one emotional death, and there was some talk of kissing. (less)