Evie is pretty normal for being a teenage agent with the International Paranormal Containment Agency. She's home-schooled, lives in the agency center,...moreEvie is pretty normal for being a teenage agent with the International Paranormal Containment Agency. She's home-schooled, lives in the agency center, and is best friends with a mermaid. But then paranormals around the world start showing up inexplicably dead, and Evie is on the job. Why? Because Evie is the only person who is able to see through paranormals' glamors. However, Evie is in way deeper than she can even begin to guess, and starts to wonder why exactly she can do what she does, and why the agency is so keen to keep her close.
I thoroughly enjoyed Paranormalcy. Its fast pace and humor kept me reading, and the mystery had me hooked. Throw in a hot (but sometimes nearly invisible) love interest and a fairy prophecy and you've got a winner. I'm definitely planning on picking up the next book in the series when it comes out.
Tessa's best friend, Noelle, disappeared two years ago. Everybody seems to have given her up for dead, but they still hold out hope that she'll be ali...moreTessa's best friend, Noelle, disappeared two years ago. Everybody seems to have given her up for dead, but they still hold out hope that she'll be alive and rescued. It turns out that Noelle was abducted, and reaches out to police to help her escape. Tessa couldn't be happier, but now that Noelle is back, she's different. Really different. Tessa wants things to be back they way they were, but Noelle always seems just out of reach. In the mean time, a hot new guy is pursuing Tessa. Tessa, however, can't seem to let herself let go of watching Noelle enough to give him a chance.
I thought that The Tension of Opposites was a fascinating psychological exploration of what life is like after a traumatic experience is over. The trauma that Noelle experienced reaches much further than Noelle's life: it has affected her family, her friends, her entire town, the whole country. I could see Tessa's frustration with how life is now, and the guilt she feels that her friend was the one who was taken and had to go through what she did. However, at times I felt very frustrated with Tessa's character. I think readers will be drawn into this novel and will wonder what they would do if in the same place as both Tessa and Noelle.(less)
Alona Dare is seemingly on top of the world: she's the most beautiful, popular girl in school, and she has a hot boyfriend. Then she gets hit by a bus...moreAlona Dare is seemingly on top of the world: she's the most beautiful, popular girl in school, and she has a hot boyfriend. Then she gets hit by a bus and finds out what everybody really thinks of her. Her classmates barely wait for her to be cold to talk about how much they hated her, and her best friend and boyfriend don't wait a moment to start hooking up in public. The only person who can see her is the freaky Will Killian. Killian has problems of his own, though, since the principal is out to get him and his mom thinks he has schizophrenia. Alona and Will grudgingly team up to help each other out, and to help Alona move on.
I went into this book expecting to hate it. From page one Alona got on my nerves. But then...she started to grow on me. Her character is slowly revealed to have three dimensions, and a go-get-'em attitude. Killian also turned out to be a surprisingly compelling character. The story wasn't entirely as predictable as I thought it would be, either. I'd say for people to give this one a chance, because there is some actual substance to it, and turned out to be a lot of fun!(less)
Sophie Mercer knows that she is a witch--she's known since she's had her powers. However, Sophie isn't so good at keeping her magic under control. Whe...moreSophie Mercer knows that she is a witch--she's known since she's had her powers. However, Sophie isn't so good at keeping her magic under control. When a prom love spell goes bad, Sophie's shipped off to Hecate Hall, a boarding/reform school for magical people, including witches, werewolves, fairies, and even a vampire or two. All is not well at Hex Hall, however. Young witches are dying from apparent vampire bites, and all eyes point at Sophie's friend. As the story unravels, she not only learns who is responsible, but what she really is.
Hex Hall is a fun story full of supernatural high school shenanigans. Sadly, I didn't feel that this was original enough to impress me, but it was an enjoyable read and will appeal to people who can't get enough of supes in school. Sophie is fine as a character, but some of the other characters weren't fleshed out enough. I especially didn't buy the relationship between Sophie and queen bee Elodie later in the story. The book does take a nice twist toward the end, but overall I felt I had read it all before.(less)
Rachel lives with her mother at the edge of The Line, where the nation ends and the forbidden area beyond begins. As Rachel's curiosity about the worl...moreRachel lives with her mother at the edge of The Line, where the nation ends and the forbidden area beyond begins. As Rachel's curiosity about the world beyond grows, she begins to suspect there are large secrets her mother and her mother's employer, Ms. Moore, are withholding from her. After finding evidence of the people beyond, Rachel needs to find out more information, and a way to escape The Line.
I found this to be a very interesting dystopian novel, with a mostly believable future for the US. I do wish that there would have been more discovery of the events that led up to this point, rather than having the main character list the history off as lessons. The beginning was a little slow, as well, but once the story got moving it became more engaging. I look forward to reading the next one, because I think it will explain more of the politics of the world in which the book takes place.(less)
Brightly Woven is a story that follows the journey Sydelle has with wizard Wayland North. They are on a race against time to present evidence in order...moreBrightly Woven is a story that follows the journey Sydelle has with wizard Wayland North. They are on a race against time to present evidence in order to halt a war. Something I liked about this book is the way that magic is manipulated by wizards through a magical object and based on color. The romance that slowly develops pleasantly reminded me of that between Wizard Howl and Sophie in Howl's Moving Castle. The writing was a problem for me at times, however. There were points while reading the story that became lost in what was happening. It was as if connections were missing between plot points and character actions, causing me to have to read passages over and over again to understand what was going on. This jarred me out of the story, something that I don't like when reading fantasy. I think the writing could have used stronger editing on the part of the publisher.(less)
It's been about a year since the murder of high school student Carly Ribelli. Her murderer-uncle is behind bars, and most people have moved on. Howeve...moreIt's been about a year since the murder of high school student Carly Ribelli. Her murderer-uncle is behind bars, and most people have moved on. However, her ex-boyfriend Neily is still tormented by the loss, as is Carly's cousin and murderer's daughter Audrey. After Audrey convinces Neily that her father is innocent, the two former enemies team up to try to find the identity of the real killer. They soon learn that digging up the past can be dangerous. How far are they willing to go for justice?
All Unquiet Things is a thrilling mystery that keeps readers guessing until the end. The point of view switches between Neily and Audrey, both of whom are slowly finding new information about who Carly was and what she did. I felt really irritated at times with Carly's character. She wasn't the best person, and I spent much of my time reading just thinking that, while she may not have deserved to be murdered, she definitely deserved something. Neily and Audrey were both interesting, if not always the smartest, characters. Jarzab throws in the requisite red herrings, which don't always make the most sense, but they do keep the story moving. I thought that All Unquiet Things worked better as a story about grieving and loss than as a mystery. This book kept me reading way past my bedtime, and was a well-written YA title.(less)
Gwen is a half-human, half-pooka, a Welsh magical being. That doesn't make her that much different than everybody else, other than the fact that she c...moreGwen is a half-human, half-pooka, a Welsh magical being. That doesn't make her that much different than everybody else, other than the fact that she can shapeshift. The world is full of people who are Other, but the Others are largely discriminated against, so she keeps it to herself. But she needs to tell her boyfriend before they move their relationship on to the next physical step. At the same time, a new group of outlaw werewolves have moved in, and Others have started turning up dead. When it becomes personal for Gwen, she makes up her mind to find the killer, before she herself is a victim.
I liked the world that Other takes place in, where there are all sorts of magical creatures living within society. I was able to solve the mystery pretty early on, even though Kincy threw in a couple of red herrings. Something I really liked about the story was the relationship between Gwen and her step-dad. They had a nice, trusting relationship, and it isn't all that often that books portray a realistic, positive relationship between a father figure and a daughter. As with many characters in ya fiction, I often questioned Gwen's reasoning and bad, spontaneous decisions in situations. However, I guess she has to do those things because without them there wouldn't be much of a story. Overall, it was a fun book with some very interesting characters.(less)
The Iron King started out sounding like so many other fairy stories. A young girl finds that her brother has been taken by the fae and replaced with a...moreThe Iron King started out sounding like so many other fairy stories. A young girl finds that her brother has been taken by the fae and replaced with a changeling, so she chooses to brave the terrors of fairyland and rescue him. Had the story been only that, I would not have enjoyed it nearly so much. Instead, Kagawa steers the story into an entirely different direction, echoing some of the ideas of The Neverending Story. It turns out that there is much more to the land of fairies than meets the eye, and a new force is gearing up to take over. Rather than just needing to rescue her brother, Meghan Chase now needs to fight to save the same fairy courts she hates. I look forward to reading the rest of this series and seeing what new places the author takes us!(less)