Near death experiences are one thing. Another is actually medically dying, then being revived. Since death is such a mysterious concept, the evasion o...moreNear death experiences are one thing. Another is actually medically dying, then being revived. Since death is such a mysterious concept, the evasion of death is even more intriguing, which is what this book is about. After Delaney wakes up in the hospital, she has no idea that she had been in a coma, and should be brain-dead. The doctors refuse to believe at first that she does not have severe brain damage, and reluctantly allow her to go home. However, now she feels a pull toward those who are marked by death, and questions why she can tell when a person is near dying when she’s unable to do anything to help.
I was hooked by this book. The writing is fast-paced, and I was there with Delaney each frustrating step of the way. There’s a fairly transparent romance that unfolds, and you know which guy she’ll end up with, but the journey to that point makes it okay that you already see who she will wind up with in the end.
Miranda does a great job at building tension. When Delaney gets involved with a mysterious older guy named Troy, warning bells went off in my head. Plus, Delaney has increasingly serious problems at home, especially with her mother. The reader isn’t quite sure what is happening, and doesn’t know whether or not to trust Delaney’s view of things. And the climax of the action at the end was appropriately twisted and terrifying.
If you enjoy teen thrillers with a paranormal twist, Fracture‘s a book for you. With the quick pacing, character development, and family drama you’ll find yourself motivated to continue devouring the book to see what happens next.(less)
Under the Never Sky was a frustrating book for me. From the beginning, the world building was confusing. Rossi places her readers right into this post...moreUnder the Never Sky was a frustrating book for me. From the beginning, the world building was confusing. Rossi places her readers right into this post-apocalyptic landscape with no hand-holding and very little in the way of explanation to bring us up to date. The story begins mid-action, with nothing leading to the dramatic events that cause the rest of the plot to develop. Some people might really like this–I didn’t. I found it needlessly obscure and unpleasant.
Quite a few times, I wanted to put this book down. As is so common in science fiction and dystopian novels today, Rossi has given her characters their own slang that they employ. I almost never care for this technique, and I didn’t appreciate it here either. It comes across as too jargony and too false, and immediate pulls me out of the story. As a reader, I want to establish an easy rhythm to hearing the narrative in my head; unfamiliar slang falls out of time and clashes with the beat.
I also had a hard time caring about the characters. I really didn’t like Aria at the beginning, because she seemed to have very little latch on to. Peregrine was okay, but also lacked depth for me. Their interactions, while sometimes nice, were also strange for my taste. At one point, Aria thinks she is dying, but Peregrine just informs her that she’s had her first period. What!? This is the sort of information that would have been better coming from a female figure, or even just a friend. The fact that it comes from her love interest gave me an icky feeling. That coupled with him telling her that she smells more strongly of violets when she’s ovulating made me cringe too much inside to take this romance seriously.
The book started picking up halfway through, and was okay after that, but not mind blowing. However, my opinion was already so thoroughly colored by that point that I was finishing the book just for the sake of not having wasted my time.
I know many people have read and loved this debut novel, but it was not for me. I plan on skipping the sequel, although I may read it if enough reviews convince me that it improves upon the first in the series.(less)
Everneath is a great answer for readers who loved Twilight, but want a book with a plot that differs from what has now become standard in YA paranorma...moreEverneath is a great answer for readers who loved Twilight, but want a book with a plot that differs from what has now become standard in YA paranormal romances. Ashton has succeeded in writing a novel that captures the romance and angst of Twilight, but with an original story to tell. There is a love triangle of sorts involved, but not really, since one of the guys is clearly a villain. And the good love-interest guy is no supernatural, but just a very dedicated boy.
I think what made this book work for me is the way that Ashton uses time as a plot device. We're constantly aware of the clock ticking down, and current chapters are alternated with chapters revealing earlier events leading to the present. Had the flashbacks taken place linearly, I don't think I would have been as intrigued as I was.
My only real frustration with with this story was Nikki. She goes back to earth to make amends with the people she left behind, knowing she only has about six months left, yet she doesn't talk to anybody and spends her lunch hours in a private "nook" knitting. I didn't get it. I know she was supposed to be empty after her time in the Everneath, but if you're going back with that as your only purpose, why did she waste so much of it? I couldn't get into her mind frame, and it frustrated me.
Fans of YA paranormal romance are going to eat this book up. The romance is definitely of the slowburn variety, and there's a great deal of tension as we wait for it to develop. Jack is "swoon-worthy" for those who are into that, and for people who like bad boys, Cole will be your man.
Overall, I enjoyed this book, although the romance was a bit thick and the action a bit light for my taste. I know it's going to have a ton of fans, all eager for the next in the series.(less)
Struck surpassed my expectations of what this book would be. Instead of merely being yet another YA paranormal romance, I found myself pleasantly intr...moreStruck surpassed my expectations of what this book would be. Instead of merely being yet another YA paranormal romance, I found myself pleasantly intrigued by the lightning addiction, post-mega natural disaster Los Angeles, and the cult theme. Plus, Bosworth has given us another strong female character who takes control of her situation instead of acting passively. Combined with fast-paced storytelling and the high stakes of needing to save the world, this adds up to a really strong debut novel.
I used to live in Los Angeles. I love L.A., as the song goes. And so I was delighted to see Los Angeles presented in the aftermath of a giant destructive earthquake. Californians are always expecting the “big one,” and Struck takes place after such an earthquake has hit. The details of how L.A.’s destruction has affected everyday life, and how people are struggling to continue with life even though aid is slow coming was touching and seemed truthful.
Mia is a pretty rad main character. She has Lichtenberg figures decorating most of her body: branch-like darkening of her skin where lightning has struck and spread. Google it. Mia attracts lightning, but also craves it. Lightning has burned her clothes off, and has made her heart stop on multiple occasions. While this makes her totally cool, it also sets her apart from those around her.
The villain of the story is a cult leader named The Prophet. He interprets the disaster as a precursor to the Second Coming, and uses a television show to gain support. In fact, his numbers have swelled because he was able to predict the time of the earthquake, causing many to believe that he is the real deal. I love books with cults, so the inclusion of this made me really happy.
The only downside for me in Struck is that it has yet another insta-romance, which I’m pretty much over. However, that wasn’t the central point of the story, and there was enough going on that I didn’t actually mind too much. I think Struck was one of the stronger YA paranormal books of the year I’ve read so far, and definitely fun enough to garner a read by somebody who is casually interested.(less)