Susannah "Suze" Simon isn't your average teen: she can't drive, she wears a motorcycle jacket, and she's a mediator - a person who can see, speak andSusannah "Suze" Simon isn't your average teen: she can't drive, she wears a motorcycle jacket, and she's a mediator - a person who can see, speak and (if necessary) give ghosts that extra nudge (or shove) into the beyond. Giving up NYC life to go live in Carmel, California, Suze attempts to make the best of her new stepfather, Andy, and his three sons, Jake (Sleepy), Brad (Dopey) and David (Doc). But the moment she steps foot in her so-not-Suze bedroom, she realizes the move will be more difficult than she anticipated. Mostly because of the Spanish-speaking ghost that refuses move out of her bedroom. But in comparison to a ghostly Queen Bee named Heather waiting for Suze at her new school, he's the least of her problems. Being a mediator, it's up to Suze to deal with Heather, especially before someone gets hurt...or worse.
Every time I reread this book, I'm reminded why I love Cabot's writing (especially her earlier work) so much. Cabot includes intriguing storylines, characters you can't help but to adore, a strong/realistic heroine, and an abundance of amusing moments to keep your spirits up. Suze isn't some weak protagonist - she's not afraid to defend herself and the people she cares about. This is also one of the few paranormal stories that manages to keep family/friendship at the heart of the story, and I love how Cabot writes a light paranormal story where the family is present and cares about our protagonist (instead of killing off the family/making her parents completely suck like other books do). There's enough to keep a reader pleasantly surprised as well. If you're looking for a lighter, amusing paranormal story for summer, then Shadowland is the perfect choice.
Highlights: Suze's witticisms and attitude bring this story to another level. She is without a doubt one of my favorite book characters. Even her stubbornness makes her endearing. Many of the characters - from Father Dominic, Jesse, to the Ackerman family - are enjoyable and amusing because of how realistic and unique they are. I loved the California descriptions because it was a bit interesting to see Suze's reactions to the beach/palm trees/Cali life in comparison to NYC. By and far some of Cabot's best work, Shadowland (the first installment of the Mediator series) is witty, fun, and full of heart.
Lowlights: Not quite enough is done with some of the supporting characters (especially Jesse, Ceecee, Father Dominic, and Adam), but it is only the first novel. Besides, I already know that all of these characters get more page-time later on....more
I reread this book in preparation for the release of the film adaptation (which, incidentally, I still need to watch, thanks to a crazy-busy college sI reread this book in preparation for the release of the film adaptation (which, incidentally, I still need to watch, thanks to a crazy-busy college semester), and I was a bundle of nerves upon beginning the first few pages. I remember, back in 2008, eagerly dropping by the bookstore to pick this novel a few days after it released. I flew through those 619 pages, was sucked into another world, and never wanted to leave it. I remember being so pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book, despite my so-and-so feelings toward the TWILIGHT series. I was so worried I would hate this novel now, since I've read more novels than I could ever count and have become a bit more critical because of it, but I fortunately still found THE HOST to be thoroughly gripping and enjoyable.
Envision our world. Now imagine that we have been invaded, our bodies taken over by an alien species that is unnervingly kind and concerned about one another. Their eyes are ringed with silver, and they refuse to leave any human uninhabited. Wanderer, our narrator, is one of these aliens. She's been given Melanie Stryder's body, but Melanie isn't giving up without a fight. The internal conflict between these two women could be challenging to portray, but Meyer makes it work. Additionally, Meyer focuses on a few select settings, but writes them so vividly with her descriptions that you cannot help but to envision them clearly in the back of your mind. THE HOST gives readers a glimpse into humanity, raising questions regarding what it means to be human, and to be good or evil. The plot itself may not be nothing new for sci-fi fans, but I definitely believe this novel goes above and beyond Meyer's other works.
Highlights: Meyer writes the love triangle/square work* perfectly. The setting is also nicely depicted, but it is the characters that take this story to another level. They are imperfect people, some angry and impulsive while others are thoughtful and slower to act. More surprisingly, Meyer made me change my mind about them repeatedly. Characters I hated in the beginning eventually become ones I sympathized with (or even liked) in the end, and I think that's an impressive feat.
Lowlights: This novel is slow going, and it takes some time to get into the story. This is a very character-focused story, so if you don't like Wanderer, you probably won't like the novel.
Note: This is an adult novel, but it has crossover potential. I think the only aspects that make this book "adult" are the 21-year-old protagonist (Melanie's body is that age, but Wanderer is sort of older) and the intense, physical violence portrayed throughout the novel. Even the steamier scenes are tame in comparison to some that I've read in YA novels.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
* Don't freak out, it's not your typical love triangle/square. Upon rereading, it is obvious how the romance aspect will work out in the end. The only person with actual conflicting feelings for more than one person is Wanderer. (view spoiler)[Though some may argue that Jared is romantically interested in her, I think he proves otherwise. He loves Melanie, and likes Wanderer, but would (and does) eagerly take the chance to get Melanie back, even if it meant losing Wanderer. This is one of the reasons why this love triangle/whatever works for me. Wanderer is the only one who is confused, and it's mostly because of Melanie's feelings for Jared. Wanderer herself chooses Ian. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I read this one back when it came out, thought it was okay, and put it on my bookshelf to collect dust for a few years. After rereading it this past wI read this one back when it came out, thought it was okay, and put it on my bookshelf to collect dust for a few years. After rereading it this past week, I can honestly say that I was genuinely surprised to find myself enjoying Graceling so much more than I originally did. Perhaps this is just one of those books that I get more out of now that I'm older....Full review to come.
It's been a long time since I've read a novel that made me say, "A new novelist wrote this?". Twenty Boy Summer was great, fantastic, and real. NormalIt's been a long time since I've read a novel that made me say, "A new novelist wrote this?". Twenty Boy Summer was great, fantastic, and real. Normally, I'm really critical of novels by writer's I've never heard of, I'm always looking for what's wrong with their work. With TBS, I was looking for the greatness on every page.
Highlights: The characters' were all very well developed. I felt Anna's pain, loss, betrayal. Frankie seemed like a realistic character, and her parents as well. I could see everything that happened in this novel actaully happen in life. It felt real, and the writing felt very Sarah Dessen-like.
Lowlights: I just wanted Anna to come clean with Frankie, but in the end, it all works out the best it could. ...more
I'll admit it, I was so nervous to read this novel. I avoided it for as long as possible, until I recently found it for a great price I couldn't passI'll admit it, I was so nervous to read this novel. I avoided it for as long as possible, until I recently found it for a great price I couldn't pass up. I'm always a little wary with "vampire" books, because they always seem so lame, and unrealistic to me (well, the one's I've read in the past did). As the novel progressed, I found myself falling deeper and deeper into Rose's world. I could easily believe every single word of this book, it was that great. Rose is strong, fearless, and believable. I loved how she was such a well-rounded character, full of her own insecurities. I loved how strong the plot was, and how I never quite knew what would happen next. Even the reason why Rose and Lissa left in the first place was a complete mystery, and it was only as the novel progressed that little bits of their story surfaced.
Highlights: Rose and Dimitri's relationship, for sure. The two of them are just so amusing together...Plus, I loved the "bad" guys. I was not expecting them at all, and I usually have a skill for guessing the bad guys.
Lowlights: At times, Lissa really bothered me. She was so weak, I wanted her to be stronger. However, in the end, I ended up changing my mind about her entirely. ...more
I'll admit it, I amost gave up on this novel. I put it off for weeks, after reading only 30 pages. But then, those lovely people I talk to weekly on MI'll admit it, I amost gave up on this novel. I put it off for weeks, after reading only 30 pages. But then, those lovely people I talk to weekly on MCMB always tell me how amazing this book is, so I promised myself I'd just jump in and finish it, before I moved onto another book.
I'm so glad I did continue. I've read so many YA books, and I've never been one for having favorite anythings, but this novel is seriously close to topping the charts of all books I've read. The beginning is slow, it does not make much sense, but as the book continues, the magic happens. I learn more about Taylor Markham's life, and the mysteries wrapped around her and the "wars".
Highlights: Weaving the stories from the past into Hannah's manuscript. I loved learning everything with Taylor. There was always more to keep me curious, keep me turning the pages. I also loved the "wars", because they were just so entertaining at times. Jonah's backstory was a blow to me, also. I wasn't expecting what he says to Taylor about the day at the train station, and it was an interesting shock.
Lowlights: It was incredibly hard to get into at first, but as I got to chapter 3, or 4, I was was hooked. I didn't want it to end. ...more
Amazing. I'll really have to go out and buy this sometime, because this is a book I want on my shelf.
Ai Ling is strong, brave, and different. She wasAmazing. I'll really have to go out and buy this sometime, because this is a book I want on my shelf.
Ai Ling is strong, brave, and different. She wasn't wanted at her first betrothal, and was relieved. Then when her father must go away to the Palace, and doesn't come back, trouble starts. Ai Ling begins a journey to find him, while trying to understand what is happening to her, and why evil is chasing her. The story is a little slow at first, but gets going quickly and keeps a good pace.
I don't really know what to say, because I would hate to spoil such a great book. If you haven't read this, go check it out.
Highlights: The world in which Ai Ling lived in seemed so real, as were the other worlds and characters. The description was perfect. I loved the culture, and learning about it.
And that cover rocks. I totally want a necklace like Ai Ling's (because hers is definitely special).
Lowlights: I wanted more romance between Chen Yong and Ai Ling. I also wish the villain would have been revealed a bit earlier, because I spent a long time going "WHO IS DOING THIS?!?"
But that's probably a good sign, because I was invested in the novel. ...more
I'll admit it, I was a little nervous to read this book. I wasn't quite sure how Libba's jump from the Gemma Doyle books (Victorian, girls, supernaturI'll admit it, I was a little nervous to read this book. I wasn't quite sure how Libba's jump from the Gemma Doyle books (Victorian, girls, supernatural...) would be to a book like Going Bovine. In the end, I had nothing to worry about, because Libba wrote something just as magical and captivating but entirely different.
When the book starts, we see how Cameron is living his life (or not living). Then, he is diagnosed with Creutzfeldt-Jakob's (Mad Cow disease). His body slowly starts to breakdown, having twitches, seizures, hallucinations. His life will soon be over before it ever really began.
Then angel Dulcie pops in, and the story gets going. Told he needs to follow the random clues, he and his hypochondriac dwarf friend Gonzo are on a mission to find Dr. X, Gonzo's purpose, and the cure for Cam's illness.
Going Bovine is wild, crazy, fun, comedic, scary, sad, and everything in between. The story is amazing, the characters are beautifully written, and at the end, you'll have a whole new appreciation for life.
Highlights: Way to go, Libba Bray, for stepping out into something new. This novel really hits home that you need to get out there and live while you can, because you might not have much time.
Lowlights: Honestly, nothing. Going Bovine is a must-read. ...more
The Sky is Everywhere is realistic, humorous, touching, and heartbreaking.
When Lennie's sister Bailey dies, Lennie hardly knows what to do with herselThe Sky is Everywhere is realistic, humorous, touching, and heartbreaking.
When Lennie's sister Bailey dies, Lennie hardly knows what to do with herself. She can't seem to get a grasp of who she is without her sister. It's bad enough that her own mother has been off traipsing across the world since Lennie was a baby, but now she's only got Gram and Uncle Big. But then Lennie meets new-boy Joe, and reacquaints herself with Toby (Bailey's boyfriend), and things get complicated. Each guy does something different for her internally, mentally and physically. The emotions of this story are so realistic, and so intense. Lennie doesn't know how to deal with herself, and these guys aren't making it any easier on her. Both are gorgeous, both seem to adore her, but it's really only one that makes sense in the end.
The Sky is Everywhere is truly one of those novels that make me say "Wow". With a cast of characters that are very authentic, likable, and interesting, this is one story that can't be missed. It's a story that's easy to lose yourself in, and it's so easy to get caught up in the emotions between the characters. The Sky Is Everywhere has humor, grief, love, loss...and Nelson makes it all work.
Highlights: The emotions were very intense, and obvious to the reader. It's one of those stories that takes you on a ride. Nelson's writing flows very nicely, making this one an enjoyable novel. I also really enjoyed Lennie's thoughts and poems written on random objects and spread across town. It added just a bit something more to the story, and I found myself looking forward to reading each of them.
Lowlights: At times, I felt like Lennie's best friend really pulled the realism down a bit. She seemed to over-the-top, ridiculous...I don't know. I liked the girl, but I didn't really believe in her. Lennie also was, at first, a bit difficult for me to figure out and I wasn't quite sure if she was my type of narrator (and by that, I mean likable, easy to relate to). Plus, I really just wanted Lennie to pick one of the guys, already!