Vampire Kira November (living name Phoebe Tanaka) knows that there will be trouble when the star football player at her new high school is found dead...moreVampire Kira November (living name Phoebe Tanaka) knows that there will be trouble when the star football player at her new high school is found dead -- a death that was almost certainly caused by a vampire. Now her strict, traditional vampire parents are convinced she did it. Kira must discover the real killer before the week is up, or be sentenced to the vampire equivalent of grounding with no tv or phone calls. Luckily for her, the three suspects are all good-looking guys. Who knew sleuthing could be so much like dating?
This book was light reading, but did manage to keep me guessing about the true killer. I finished it in a day, both because it was compelling enough to keep me reading and it was fairly short. While not great vampire fiction, it's a nice, easy read for those days when you just want something entertaining and not too mentally taxing.(less)
This book was my constant companion during my rare book cataloging internship. I used it any time I was having trouble determining a book's format or...moreThis book was my constant companion during my rare book cataloging internship. I used it any time I was having trouble determining a book's format or formulating collation. It's an exercise to read through, but densely packed with great information on books of both the hand-press and machine-press eras. It's a classic.(less)
Hanna is a mix: half Finnish, half black; raised in Finland but living in Texas; stunningly beautiful but devastatingly insane. After the death of her...moreHanna is a mix: half Finnish, half black; raised in Finland but living in Texas; stunningly beautiful but devastatingly insane. After the death of her father, Hanna goes to live with her mother..who she has never met and who does not want her. It becomes apparent that in her mother's town of Portero, things are far stranger than they originally appear. Hanna has a hard time determining what strange events are in her head, and what are real.
Bleeding Violet is a wild ride! I felt that this book was fantastically strange, and unapologetically so. Hanna is a very strong, very brave character whose strength comes from her insanity -- not normally an admirable characteristic in a heroine. Hanna and her mother Rosalee are both sexually liberal, but it somehow seems right for their characters. While the monsters in Portero are dangerous, the real danger in the story is Hanna's emotional state and how quickly she can lose control and become violent toward herself and others. The story transcends the strange fantasy world by portraying the broken relationship between a troubled teen and the mother she needs, but who rejects her.
Bleeding Violet was a strong, original story, and I look forward to reading more from Dia Reeves in the future.(less)
The Eternal Kiss 13 Vampire Tales of Blood and Desire is a great anthology of thirteen vampire tales by current YA authors. Not every story focuses on...moreThe Eternal Kiss 13 Vampire Tales of Blood and Desire is a great anthology of thirteen vampire tales by current YA authors. Not every story focuses on the vampire as love-interest/Byronic hero, although there is that if you want it. Overall, I thought this compilation did a great job of presenting the vampire in its many forms and mythologies. While the writers each have their own voice and take on the vampire, the stories hang together well as a cohesive unit, making this a strong anthology.
For me, the strongest stories were:
"Falling to Ash" by Karen Mahoney - This was more of a beginning to something that could develop much further. As my first introduction to Mahoney's work, it made me curios to read her other writings.
"Sword Point" by Maria V. Snyder - I liked this story because its vampires were truly monstrous, and the protagonist showed potential to develop into a very strong female character.
"The Coldest Girl in Coldtown" by Holly Black - I find Black's writing to be gritty, yet poetic. I also liked the way Black treated vampires as infected citizens in quarantine.
"The Thirteenth Step" by Libba Bray - This was a nicely paced, intriguing story, with a main character that had a great back story.
"Wet Teeth" by Cecil Castellucci - What made this story so good was how short and concise it was.
This book makes clear exactly how little we knew about the human decomposition process prior to the founding of the Body Farm. Bass walks the reader t...moreThis book makes clear exactly how little we knew about the human decomposition process prior to the founding of the Body Farm. Bass walks the reader through the series of scenarios in his career that led up to the final founding of the facility. He also details the kinds of discoveries made through research there, and some of the controversies that arose from different groups that disagreed with some of the circumstances of the research and location.
Death's Acre was fascinating, and gruesome in a scientific way. I ripped through it in a day. It's a must-read for anybody interested in the science of forensic anthropology.(less)
In the small Southern town of Gatlin, everybody knows everybody else, and strangers are not welcome. Ethan Wate occupies a space on both sides: he is...moreIn the small Southern town of Gatlin, everybody knows everybody else, and strangers are not welcome. Ethan Wate occupies a space on both sides: he is Gatlin-born and bred, but was raised by professor, liberal parents, allowing him to view his hometown with a critical eye. When a new girl arrives at his school and is immediately ostracized due to her relation to the town odd-ball, Ethan feels inexplicably drawn to her. However, she is secretive and mysterious, and Ethan suspects she may somehow have something to do with the strange dreams he's been having. He never expects that her arrival will change him, and Gatlin, forever.
After the first few chapters, I could tell that Beautiful Creatures was special. It instantly drew me in, and had characters of real depth and emotion. The supernatural aspect of the book was deftly interwoven into the story, unlike some other books where it can be jarring. To me, the South is a mysterious place (I've never been there), and it blends well with witchcraft, voodoo, and just general paranormality. I also really appreciated Ethan's relationship with Lena. It seemed true to high school romance. I'm not sure that I'd want to visit a real Gatlin, since I know how the residents would react to me, but this book makes me feel like I've been there. The ending is a bit open-ended, but I'm hoping that means there will be a sequel. Beautiful Creatures is a book you sink into, and you want it to last as long as possible.
Other things I loved about it: the book features a totally awesome librarian, there is a great courtroom-type scene, and it has fantastic pacing.(less)
I found this book to be a disappointment. It was full of grammar errors, punctuation errors, and general typos, which made it difficult to read withou...moreI found this book to be a disappointment. It was full of grammar errors, punctuation errors, and general typos, which made it difficult to read without wielding a red pen. Additionally, Jasper spends too much time praising the innkeepers at the beginning of each story. Doing so buries the lead, and quickly becomes repetitive. These complements should have been gathered together and presented as notes and the beginning or end of the volume. I wasn't reading to find out who makes great soup, I was reading for a ghost story. The book piqued my interest about exploring some of these inns, but overall was not spooky enough.(less)