Vampire Kisses 2 continues the story of goth girl Raven and her vampire boyfriend Alexander who has left town. Raven decides to hunt him down at the b...moreVampire Kisses 2 continues the story of goth girl Raven and her vampire boyfriend Alexander who has left town. Raven decides to hunt him down at the beginning of this book. She travels to Hipsterville where her aunt lives and ends up meeting the mysterious Jagger, who offers to help her. But is he really who he says he is and why is he so interested in Alexander?
I had some mixed feelings about this book and had to force myself to finish it. The writing seemed very shallow and I felt like nothing in the plot was really exciting or unpredictable. I would say this series is geared toward the younger pre-teen set, and being someone who is out of their teens, it may have just been too "young" for me. For parents who don't want their children reading vampire stories with adult situations and gore, this series would be appropriate. I would say that the first book was definitely better than this one.(less)
**spoiler alert** Anyone looking out their window on a dull, dreary day can feel the lure of the sun soaked coastline of an Italian castle blooming wi...more**spoiler alert** Anyone looking out their window on a dull, dreary day can feel the lure of the sun soaked coastline of an Italian castle blooming with wildflowers during the month of April. The four British women, varying in ages and situation are all drawn to San Salvatore, Italy and immediately begin to change. I loved how they all opened their hearts to love and friendship by recognizing the emptiness of their lives. It's not just the sun and rest though that brought about the changes...I believe it was true friendship with extraordinary people.(less)
It's 1978 and Eva Lott is just your average American teenager getting ready to start her senior year of high school. That is, until her dad drags her...moreIt's 1978 and Eva Lott is just your average American teenager getting ready to start her senior year of high school. That is, until her dad drags her kicking and screaming to Communist Poland. He wants to help the local people with a radical underground literacy movement and Eva soon becomes a part of that world. She learns that the average Pole does not have basic freedoms and that their daily lives are downright dangerous at times. Forget about good old American pepperoni pizza, rock-n-roll and freedom of speech. The government is always watching and listening, ready to suppress and control. Most people are poor, with little coal to heat their homes and even less to eat. (To paint a picture for you, bread with lard is something of a delicacy!)
If you were in Eva's shoes, wouldn't you want to hop on the next flight out of the country and get back to the good old USA? That was Eva's plan. Until she met Tomek. Ah...Tomek! The handsome, moody and so intelligent boy who draws her into his world and captures her heart. Through their unusual friendship, Tomek opens Eva's eyes to the sheer beauty of the Polish country and the brave struggles of those fighting for freedom and independence within.
I absolutely fell in love with this book. I think the romantic cover captured my heart from the start! I really enjoyed Eva's progression from your typical self involved American teen to the soulful, passionate person she became during her time in Poland. My favorite aspect of the novel, however, was the manner in which Eva's and Tomek's relationship unfolded. The believable, interesting situations were all beautifully woven through Dandi Daley Mackall's skillful narrative. Alternating the chapters between Eva and Tomek's point of view was a smart move. I think it allowed for a deeper connection to both characters with the way we were able to get inside their different mindsets. If you do read this novel, just wait until you get to the "plum harvest". Those chapters were my absolute favorite. I can honestly say I still carry them with me in my heart.
In a 2006 interview with Cynthia Leitich Smith, Dandi Daley Mackall described how she based this book on her own experiences in Poland circa 1978. After reading Eva Underground, I could really appreciate the authenticity of the novel. It was evident to me that Mackall had her finger on the pulse of the Polish heart and soul. I also must admit, I knew little about what life was like in that tumultuous time period of history. Eva Underground really opened my eyes. I honestly felt like I was right there with Eva, suitcases in tote, following along in her footsteps. Eva Underground is a novel that should appeal to readers of all ages, with its romance, suspense and universal issues of freedom and hope.(less)