Kim Harrison’s new young adult novel “Once Dead Twice Shy” has an interesting take on life and death. Two sides-- the dark life reapers and the lightKim Harrison’s new young adult novel “Once Dead Twice Shy” has an interesting take on life and death. Two sides-- the dark life reapers and the light life reapers are competing against each other for souls. But not who takes more souls or who saves more souls. One side believes in choice and saves them the other believes in fate and destroys the bad souls before they can do much damage. Madison who is dead but has gained the chance to stay alive by the help of an amulet she snagged of the Dark timekeeper after he tried to kill her and did. Somewhat. Now, Madison finds herself being hunted by dark wings, or dark timekeepers….. really, I don’t know to tell you.
The story unfolds and unfolds and the world builds but really in the end I am a bit lost as to how we got there. The premise is interesting; the characters are different and exciting. There’s drama and action and fighting and running and death….*takes a deep breath* but no real story plot arc. What I mean by that is there’s plot I just got lost in the sequence of things. I feel like I hopped from one minor plot line to the next and there was little explanation to tie them all together.
Now I will give Kim Harrison this much: it’s an exciting book (the parts that I understood, which basically, was the end) I am much more interested now in the book that it’s over hoping to see how Madison’s life, or lack thereof, unfolds in the next book. ...more
Let me start off by saying that really good creepy is hard to come by but Katie Alender’s Bad Girls Don’t Die is perfectly creepy and eerie with a tinLet me start off by saying that really good creepy is hard to come by but Katie Alender’s Bad Girls Don’t Die is perfectly creepy and eerie with a tinge of mystery and that has made me immensely happy.
I was hooked into the richly moody story of a girl, Alexis, in a small town where she is a lonely outsider. Not the kind that wallows in self pity but one with confidence and with reassurance that what she does is right but foremost is true to who she is. There are two things that are an issue for her: her sister, Kasey, and the cheerleaders. Her sister is a character that I was bizarrely intrigued by her personality and her character tendencies. Though the cheerleaders are a bunch of stereotypical characters they throw us a bone towards the end and leave me quite content. Megan on the other hand is a major curve ball... but read the book to find out why.
The plot moves at a steady pace and it accelerates to top speed at points leaving the reader a tad breathless. Now, the creepiness….. WOW! It is eerie and moody and …. I am sadly running out of adjectives. But what I can say is that it gave me that creepy crawly tingly feeling where due to the spooky nature I had to read this book during the day.
The writing is sarcastic, witty and never a dull moment. The mystery part though predictable only on a few occasions still left me reeling with surprise when the plot turns a different direction than expected. Bad Girls Don’t Die has a perfect blend of characters that keep you holding tight as the story spirals out of control and into a climatic ending and I am not only satisfied but I recommend this book to anyone needing a good spooky thrill.
I give this book a 85/100 B+ Characters- 17 Plot- 17 Writing- 16 Originality- 17 Re-Readability- 18...more
If I Stay is a powerful story about a girl named Mia who experiences the many hours between her family’s car accident and her hospital ICU stay in anIf I Stay is a powerful story about a girl named Mia who experiences the many hours between her family’s car accident and her hospital ICU stay in an in between life and death state. She has to make a decision –whether to stay or go on –after realizing that her family is dead and gone.
If I Stay is 200 pages of heart-wrenching emotion. I was pulled into the story right from the beginning and with each page and with each story Mia had to tell I was pulled deeper into her world. I was emotionally engaged and by the end of the book drained completely. I must admit that I read the book in a bookstore and was crying in said bookstore. I didn’t care who would see me because putting the book down to go home and cry in private was not an option.
The Characters and relationships are so real. And what I mean by that is that there's real conflict and struggle. Mia and Adam are so different with their different styles and music tastes and friend groups yet it is worked at. No relationship is the peachy Edward/ Bella romance (SORRY!). Forman does well to show how difficult having such a contrasting romance can be and with a family that is so much different from you. On top of that Forman shows a heartwarming eclectic and rich family that is fun, energetic and passionate about life. And that is where Mia’s struggle stems from: how can she go on living life, loving life if her loved ones, those that truly loved living are gone.
The story is a powerful tale of life and death and the true meaning of friends, family and truly living. Mia is stuck in the in between and she reminisces on her life, her music and her love. In a family where music is a major part of who they are and their personality, Mia’s life is intertwined with the notes and melodies of her past. The differences between her music and her families or even her boyfriend Adam’s is a testament to how truly diverse life is and how the smallest fragment, music, can be a powerful driving force. Music and Mia’s memories are one and the same.
Gayle Forman seamlessly intertwines the present and past and at time when I wondered “where’s this bit going…?” she delivers on highly emotional level tugging at my heart strings. The whole story is emotionally charged and you will be constantly sighing and heaving with tears. If I Stay is a true testament to the power a single person can hold and what a lifetime of love and memories can offer. Don’t take one second for granted and keep moving. Always keep moving.
I give this book a 92/100 A- Characters- 19 Plot- 17 Writing- 19 Originality- 17 Re-Readability- 20...more
AS YOU WISH by Jackson Pearce is sweet, fresh and adorable; a story we can all enjoy! Pearce takes a unique approach to a concept of slave master relaAS YOU WISH by Jackson Pearce is sweet, fresh and adorable; a story we can all enjoy! Pearce takes a unique approach to a concept of slave master relationship and what it would mean if they fell in love; odds fighting against them and forces working against them. When Viola refuses to make silly wishes and instead holds off for a wish that would really be worth it –after all you don’t waste your wishes on petty desires –she realizes that she is in love with Jinn, her genie for all intensive purposes. Problem is that when Viola makes her three wishes Jinn will disappear and she will forget about him. How they cope with that when she is forced to wish sooner… well you have to read Jackson’s book!
The characters are fun and filled with real teenage qualities and angst. Viola was a favorite of mine who was not only smart and talented but wise beyond her years. Jinn was new and crisp, a character that was complex and a male character we can fall in love with too. Ah, and Lawrence who is a true friend a great character and one that we feel is like our best friend too. Jackson does a wonderful job giving us sweet, fun characters we can all love and cheer for!
Although the story is predictable, Jackson does a fine job of weaving funny, quirky and sweet moments that left me cheering or sighing rooting for Viola! It’s story of friendship and love and yet it still makes me think, “What would I wish if I had three wishes?”
I give this book a 88/100 B+ Characters- 17 Plot- 17 Writing- 17 Originality- 18 Re-Readability- 17...more
**Because this book's a sequel the review may contain spoilers**
Cathing Fire by Suzanne Collins starts off on the first day of the Victory Tour. But K**Because this book's a sequel the review may contain spoilers**
Cathing Fire by Suzanne Collins starts off on the first day of the Victory Tour. But Katniss is surprised to find none other than President Snow in her house asking her to be on her best behavior and very much in love for the cameras in hopes of mediating the masses who are restless and rebellious. Katniss is thus thrust back into Peetas arms as they go through the Tour. Upon returning Katniss finds that things aren’t as quiet as she would like, or as President Snow would like so she plots ways to save her family and keep them safe from Snow’s menacing grasp. A major twist happens half way through the story and we see Katniss thrown back into her worst nightmare. To see how she copes and what comes of her you will have to go pick up a copy but I do need to say that the ending is a machine gun of events that leave you breathless, jaw dropped waiting, drooling for the sequel.
Although the plot is a bit laborious in a few parts Collins delivers another action packed, thrilling story filled with love and gore. Yes, gore! Collins spares no details and doesn’t leave unnecessary information in letting the story quickly progress. Katniss is still headstrong and powerful full of wit, wisdom and unmatched cleverness. Peeta is the perfect and sweet companion that always has the right things to say. One thing about Peeta that strikes a chord with me is his seemingly perfect demeanor and his undying love which leads me to believe that perhaps there HAS to be something else there, something more sinister…and only a sequel can tell.
I say this book is great! A super fast read that won’t let you put the book down. Each chapter takes you for a loop and you never see the next thing coming.
I give this book a 95/100 A- Characters- 19 Plot- 20 Writing- 19 Originality- 18 Re-Readability- 19...more
CANDOR by Pam Bachorz is a a captivating story of a teenage Oscar who lives in a stepford-like, cookie-cutter town in Candor, Fl. What makes Oscar speCANDOR by Pam Bachorz is a a captivating story of a teenage Oscar who lives in a stepford-like, cookie-cutter town in Candor, Fl. What makes Oscar special is that his dad is the founder of the Utopian town, but better yet, is the creator of a new auditory addiction, a brainwashing technique that has the whole town running smooth and perfect. Except Oscar knows how the system works and uses it to his advantage until a girl, Nia, shows up who is spectacular and different, who grabs a hold of his heart.
What would Oscar do for love? What would he sacrifice to keep a little spec of originality and brilliance in Candor alive? Read it and find out.
Some (and I do mean SOME) of the dialogue especially Oscar’s felt unrealistic and even whiny. I would have also liked a few parts to be delved into a bit more. For example, I wished Campbell would have had more of a presence and Oscar's mom's story elaborated on.
But overall, CANDOR is a thrilling and exciting read and with each short chapter the story drives you forward and doesn’t let you take a break. A snarky and witty Oscar and clone like kids keep you laughing despite their ‘unoriginality’. The drone like redundancy is thrown in at the perfect times giving CANDOR a witty humor that is seldom seen in such serious teen fiction. But despite its few flaws CANDOR is a sweet love story and I recommend this to anyone who loves snarky, witty boys and male POV narration. Go pick up a copy and see how far Oscar really goes....more
Maggie Stievater has done something to me. Something good. She’s taken me prisoner in this world she’s created full of magic, mystery and intrigue. MaMaggie Stievater has done something to me. Something good. She’s taken me prisoner in this world she’s created full of magic, mystery and intrigue. Maggie’s first book LAMENT is a story of a talented young girl whose harp talent is mesmerizing and enchanting. When a strange and mysterious Luke Dillon approaches her to play together at a competition Deidre’s world is then swiftly unwound and she is then thrust into a world full of folklore and magic and her place in this world is quickly realized.
Maggie tells a story full of romance and with each passing page we fall in love with the characters both the good and the bad. What I most enjoyed about Maggie’s book is the darkness with which the story unfolds yet with the ease that she cloaks her novel with humor and laughter. Each character is full of personality and is true to the teenage persona. I love the witty and clever quips and jabs between the characters and made this dark tale lighter when it needed it to be, adding a lighthearted comedic relief.
The story is fast paced and surprising at times and many times I didn’t see the outcome coming at all. It is unpredictable and a total enjoyment to read. Now I am off to devour BALLAD the sequel to LAMENT! Go pick up both copies today!...more
I feel like this book ended with sound effects. Screeching tires, anyone? That ending just leaves you breathless, gasping, and holding for dear life.I feel like this book ended with sound effects. Screeching tires, anyone? That ending just leaves you breathless, gasping, and holding for dear life. This book’s quite the rollercoaster and I went zipping though Blue Moon. Blue Moon starts off where it left us with Damen and Ever happy and new. Damen’s helping Ever learn about her new abilities and everything’s peachy as they make plans to seal the deal, so to say and be merry and happy forever and ever. Except Damen’s getting sicker and on that special day everything goes wrong: Damen ditches her, abandons their plans of romance and love and on the next day Damen’s done a complete 180 and shuns Ever. What gives? Well Read the book to find out. But in order to ‘save’ Damen, Ever has to travel to Summerland where she meets new people sees new places and learns new things. Things that can forever change her life, and even Damen’s. Even her family’s.
Now, I must give props to Alyson Noel for this fresh series. Though there were times I thought, “Oh, this will end like this…” Noel surprises me with a twist and a new take. Ever, especially, is THE driving force of the story. She’s strong, mature and independent and despite her undying love for Damen she makes some tough and not so ‘Bella-like’ choices, if you get my drift.
The writing isn’t award winning by any means, but the plot… THE PLOT! It moves and speeds and is so engaging. A few things stood out to me and I hate to bring them up. So instead all I will say is… Though there are similarities with another very popular book (yes, Twilight) I am crossing my fingers Alyson Noel spins it and twists it and molds it to something different. I know she can. She’s surprised me enough to know that she’s capable of great non-Twilightlike plots or characters.
Let me know what you think. Have you read Blue Moon? Do you see the similarities? Seeing as how the book ends...? Let me know! Would love to know what you think! ...more
Lisa Mantchev’s Eyes Like Stars is about a young lady, Bertie, who is forced to make herself invaluable after she was asked to leave the Theatre IllumLisa Mantchev’s Eyes Like Stars is about a young lady, Bertie, who is forced to make herself invaluable after she was asked to leave the Theatre Illuminata after a few mishaps on her part. Seen as a waste and as useless Bertie has to find a way to be truly important and therefore decides to become the Director for Hamlet redone in a new way. She is however warned that changes she invokes might not be the best idea and might tip the balance of the Theatre but alas Bertie is determined to stay and gets to work reworking Hamlet. When things start going wrong Bertie realizes just how much she values the Theatre and how much the Theatre values her. Bertie with the help of her trusted fairy friends learns the magic of the theatre Illuminata and the truth about herself.
Lisa Mantchev’s characters are vibrant and full of life, funny and sticky sweet. They are not only clever, witty and funny but above all else they are truly unique. You spend page after page rolling iwht laughter or playing around with Mustardseed, Moth, Cobwed and Peaseblossom. I couldn’t get enough of their hilarity. The setting –the Theatre Illuminta –is fantastic. A theatre is a place where real magic happens and true imagination lives and breathes, where anything CAN happen; and that is how the Theatre works.
I am finding I am at a lack for words to describe Mantchev’s literary brilliance. Mantchev writes with real creative brilliance and each page is filled with wittiness, cleverness and just plain old fun. The characters dance to life with magic and wit; containing life unseen before in any book. This is imagination and creativity at its best. It IS imagination. A world so rich and magnificent that it sparkles out of the pages and fills me with smiles, laughter and utter intrigue. ...more
The Debut novel, “Shadowed Summer,” of author Saundra Mitchell is a work that is short and brief. The story is about a young girl, Iris, and her frienThe Debut novel, “Shadowed Summer,” of author Saundra Mitchell is a work that is short and brief. The story is about a young girl, Iris, and her friend Collette who spend their summer days messing around with magic and spells in the nearby graveyard. The story takes place in the hot humid days of the country side town of Ondine, Louisiana, a small hobonk town where the most excitement anyone sees is the kids blowing up river bend. The characters are filled with boredom of small town life and that is translated well onto the pages of Mitchell’s book. The heat and the humidity of Iris’ summer adventure sizzles out of the pages into a story set in the deep hot summer south.
Mitchell delivers a novel of a girl who is haunted by a ghost name Elijah. Elijah is frustrated since no one has been able to find his body after he went missing that one fateful day. Through much speculation, interrogation and clue seeking Iris and Collette, with the help of Collette’s boyfriend Ben, are able to solve the mystery step by step. The emotional frustration is apparent in Elijah’s haunting episodes.Though at times slow or winding the story still seemed to progress nicely. Between Elijah and his appearances the story took on a life of its own.
I found the characters to be lacking depth and at times a little bored(boring?). Well, I suppose in the small town they lived in they would be. The most fascinating character was Elijah, who was creepy and mysterious giving the story some oomph. Elijah’s creepiness oozed out of the pages and his haunting occurrences were the most successful aspect of the novel. Although the story was not boring, it kept me going, I was still wanting more and felt a few extra pages and character building might have done the book good. Overall the book was an OK debut novel with spurts of excellent.
I give this book a 73/100 C- Characters- 14 Plot- 15 Writing- 16 Originality- 16 Re-Readability- 12...more