I was incredibly lucky to join Traveling ARC Tours and receive an ARC of KARMA BITES last week. (You'll be seeing a few more of these crop up soon.) I...moreI was incredibly lucky to join Traveling ARC Tours and receive an ARC of KARMA BITES last week. (You'll be seeing a few more of these crop up soon.) I'll be passing it onto the next reviewer this week.
I was intrigued by the description (mainly the Karma aspect) of the book. I put the genre of this as somewhere between Young Adult and Middle Grade because the book itself is put in the Young Adult section, but it felt more like MG.
I had pretty high hopes for this, but I had a hard time getting through the book. It started off at a good spot--first day of school, complete with a mega-hair-crisis. The ending was fast paced and tied all the loose ends. But the middle felt...dragged out. It felt like there wasn't enough happening to warrant the chapters.
During the course of the book, I found myself not liking Franny's friends Joey and Kate. They were very self-centered, but they also felt a little bit older than the rest of the characters. (But I never went to middle school, so I really don't have a basis of comparison for that.)
I loved Granny and Lama and Naomi. They were so cool and real--as far out there as Granny and Lama were. I didn't really connect with Franny's mom, but overall she was better than most YA/MG parents are. Franny's dad was pretty much the same although his storyline was more involved than the mom's.
Franny's use of the Box was insane--and I don't mean that in a bad way. It felt like exactly what a 12 year old would do, so I wasn't disappointed in that at all. Franny's nemesis, Elodie (love the name!), was awesomely evil in a middle-school, popular-girl way with an added spice that you'll have to read the book to find out about. All in all, I thought she was pretty realistic.
Taking it all into account, I wouldn't necessarily say that I'd recommend it off the top of my head, or reread it often, but it's certainly a great example of messing with things you don't understand and the consequences of doing it. (less)
When her older sister dies from an arrhythmia, 17-year-old Lennie finds that people are awkward around her, including her best friend. While dealing w...moreWhen her older sister dies from an arrhythmia, 17-year-old Lennie finds that people are awkward around her, including her best friend. While dealing with her conflicted feelings toward her sister's boyfriend, her anguish over Bailey's unexpected death, and her sudden curiosity about sex, Lennie must also cope with her unresolved feelings about her mother, who left when Lennie was an infant.
I originally heard about this book on TH Mafi's blog, and it's through her that I even got to read it. She gushed about this book, and it made me want to read it. When she offered a chance to win it on twitter, I jumped for it. I had no clue I'd actually win it. When I did, I was beyond excited.
Guys...this is possibly the most beautiful, heartbreaking, joyous, poetic book I have ever read.
From the moment I started reading about Lennie, I was caught in this glistening web of emotions. This story explored grief and love, lies and siblinghood in ways that broke my heart even when it made me smile.
I honestly cannot recommend this book enough. The poetry that begins and ends each chapter is gloriously heartbreaking, and even though Lennie's sister is dead even before the book begins, she is threaded through every word of the story and you can't help but fall a little in love with her without even realizing it.
I fell for Big and his pyramids, Gram and her roses--her mermaid ladies and her guilt. I was, at first, a little weirded out by Joe's constant smile and his batting lashes, and then fell for how he saw Lennie. How he went looking for her in everything, his forgiveness and his understanding.
I fell for Toby's grief, and his love for Bailey. I admit to hating him a little for constantly showing up when things seemed to be going good for Lennie, but she would never have flown if he hadn't set things in motion.
I loved Sarah and her animal-cussing, goth-cowgirl ways. I loved that Lennie finally let her be a friend and realized that Sarah lost Bailey too. I loved how Lennie and Bailey would talk about their mom during the night.
I loved Lennie's heart. The light just pours out of this book like rain from the sky and drenches you in emotion.
It's gorgeous, and heartbreaking. The poems are little stories within the larger, and each one grips your heart--with velvet or iron, it matters not which. You'll love both equally.
Chapter Six begins with this and it gave me shivers:
There were once two sisters who shared the same room, the same clothes, the same thoughts at the same moment. These two sisters did not have a mother but they had each other. The older sister walked ahead of the younger so the younger one always knew where to go. The older one took the younger to the river where they floated on their backs like dead men. The older girl would say: Dunk your head under a few inches then open your eyes and look up at the sun The younger girl: I'll get water up my nose The older: C'mon, do it and so the younger girl did it and her whole world filled with light. (c) Jandy Nelson, The Sky Is Everywhere
BETRAYALS starts pretty much right from where STRANGE ANGELS ends, which I liked. Because the last book ended on such a cliffhanger, starting this one...moreBETRAYALS starts pretty much right from where STRANGE ANGELS ends, which I liked. Because the last book ended on such a cliffhanger, starting this one where she did was a good move on Ms. St. Crow's part.
Dru has major trust issues in this book, but then again--who can blame her? Her best friend seems to be making buddy-buddy with the locals, her teachers aren't teaching--at least not teaching HER--and the one other person she thought she could trust outside of Graves has a bit of a past he didn't see fit to share.
I liked the fact that Dru tried to save Ash, the werwulfen who bit Graves, but I didn't like that she didn't think of how Graves might feel about it until near the end. I felt it was a bit insensitive of her.
St. Crow's writing flowed a bit better in this installment--it felt less like foreshadowing and more like an episode.
AH. That's what it is. These books feel like those hour-long episodes (I think Buffy had one or two) that end on a "To be continued . . ." which is alternately cool and frustrating.
There's lots of foreshadowing, and so many questions--you can't help but want the next book right now.
Did I enjoy the read? Definitely. Will I reread it? Probably not very often, but yeah, I'd reread. I'll be getting JEALOUSY, the third "episode," as soon as I can, and I can't wait for the fourth book. (less)
Reading the description, the first thing that came to mind was "teenage, female version of Supernatural" and it does have certain elements of that. Re...moreReading the description, the first thing that came to mind was "teenage, female version of Supernatural" and it does have certain elements of that. Reading the book, it's more "better, teenage, Supernatural version of BloodRayne."
Dru isn't quite as bad-ass as the description would lead you to believe, but she is still pretty cool. Her dad has kept her out of the majority of their hunting, although he makes use of her ability to basically see through glamors and such.
Her dad disappears for longer than usual on a job he wouldn't tell her anything about, and comes back as the Walking Dead, feeling kind of peckish, and she's forced to defend herself.
She ends up befriending a local goth boy, Graves (love his name). He gives her a place to stay, food, the works. Then they're attacked by a werewolf, and Graves is bitten--but doesn't turn. As Dru tries to find out who turned her dad into a zombie, Christophe, a djamphir, tells her she's out of her league--but he knows quite a bit about her that she never imagined.
This book is a good set-up for the series, although alone it feels like it's not quite enough. I haven't read the second book (BETRAYALS) yet, but I imagine that if you read it after Strange Angels, it'd feel less like a snack, and more like a nice meal. ;)
All in all, a good read, and I fully plan on reading the next book as soon as I can get my hands on it. (less)
**spoiler alert** Overall, I enjoy Karen Hawkins'd books, but I was left a little wanting with this book. It was very much focused on trying to get Hu...more**spoiler alert** Overall, I enjoy Karen Hawkins'd books, but I was left a little wanting with this book. It was very much focused on trying to get Hugh's children to like Triona. They'd been badly abused by their mother, and there was this underlying threat of the mother trying to get to them that was never actually fulfilled. I kept expecting for there to be more to it, but it ended with little conflict.
The kids stole a letter Triona had penned to her family, and all their hard feelings were gone. The middle child, fearing that she was like her uncaring mother, ran away, and Hugh went after her. While he was gone, the other two children told Triona about the girl's hiding places, so she ran to tell Hugh, only to get thrown from her horse and hitting her head. Hugh returned with his daughter, found out that Triona hadn't returned and went after her.
I finished the book thinking, That's it? This isn't to say it wasn't good for what was there--the romance was lovely, and the characters were good, but...it felt unfinished. Like there was much that should've been there wasn't. I would've liked to see more about the mother of Hugh's children, or something.