Shade is a lot more entertaining and interesting than I expected. The first page felt like any other I-can-see-ghosts story, but the rest of it--espec...moreShade is a lot more entertaining and interesting than I expected. The first page felt like any other I-can-see-ghosts story, but the rest of it--especially the concept of the Shift where everyone can see ghosts, and how that might be connected to Aura's past and everything--is really interesting. I don't really care for Logan, and I just wish that there could be more about the mystery that Aura's working to solve rather than this whole drama of "What do I do with my ghost boyfriend and the live guy I like?"(less)
Judging from the book flap and the first few chapters, I thought that Unearthly would be just another p...moreUnearthly surprised me. It really surprised me.
Judging from the book flap and the first few chapters, I thought that Unearthly would be just another paranormal romance. The run-of-the-mill true love, meant to be, obsession sort of thing. Something utterly boring. In the first few chapters, it is. The main character Clara Gardner seems like too much of a perfect character who has no flaws (her only flaws aren’t really flaws). The guy who seems to be the “true love” is the stereotypical hot, broody, most popular guy at school type. Oh, and he happens to have a girlfriend, who is the most popular girl at school. Who would’ve guessed?
The first half of the book did not impress me at all. I couldn’t take Clara’s “purpose” seriously, for some reason. It just seemed so trivial. All her interactions with Christian and her other classmates seem like they’re straight from any classic high school YA novel. I just wanted to get the book over with so I could move onto the next book on my list.
And then, the book jumps to summertime, and it starts surprising me. All of Clara’s friends go off to different ends of the world for the summer, leaving her moping around the house with nothing to do. On her birthday, Tucker comes over as her birthday present from her best friend, Wendy. Over the next few weeks, Clara discovers the “real world” with Tucker. I really love this part of the book. She does things like jump off rope swings into rivers, fly fish, hike up to see the sunrise. Something about it seems so real and so beautiful and so sweet. As a result, Clara begins to fall in love with Tucker, and they get together.
So, hold up, what just happened? In the beginning, it seems like Clara is supposed to fall in love with Christian. They’ll get together, go through some unnecessary conflicts including some silly, unnecessary love triangle business, and come out the other end as true loves. But that doesn’t happen. Clara falls in love with Tucker.
But . . . she’s not supposed to be in love with Tucker. Her job is to get close to Christian, and save him from impending doom while perhaps falling in love with him. At least, that’s what her mother seems to have in mind. And this Clara loving Tucker thing is what brings on the rest of the completely surprising twists that occur at the end of book. I won’t go into detail about it, but I’ll just say that I sort of expected some of the developments, but some of them I didn’t see coming at all, and that is what is so brilliant. I like it when I can’t predict what will happen, because that is what makes a book fresh and worth reading.
I really like the way that Cynthia Hand ends the novel. I absolutely detest those wide-open cliffhanger endings that don’t resolve anything. Too many YA authors seem to love doing that these days in order to create a series that people will want to buy. Cynthia Hand doesn’t do that. Yes, there are loose ends that need to be tied up in a sequel, but there is a clear ending here as well. There is some resolution for Christian-Clara-Tucker. The readers aren’t left hanging. And I appreciate that.
I can’t say I’m in love with any of the characters, but I love the story and plot itself. I love the way that everyone interacts—it seems real and believable. It is definitely a book worth reading (though it may not seem to be at first), and I will be looking forward Cynthia Hand’s next book.(less)
The Ghost and the Goth is nothing life-changing, nothing serious. It's a light, fun read--a bit on the shallow side--but enough to keep me entertained...moreThe Ghost and the Goth is nothing life-changing, nothing serious. It's a light, fun read--a bit on the shallow side--but enough to keep me entertained.(less)
In Nevermore, Kelly Creagh creates an interesting world weaving the world of dreams and imagination into our modern day world along with a healthy inf...moreIn Nevermore, Kelly Creagh creates an interesting world weaving the world of dreams and imagination into our modern day world along with a healthy infusion of Edgar Allen Poe and the events surrounding his mysterious death. Unfortunately, Nevermore starts off with a few high school clichés that threw me off and I never really climbed back on, especially with the main character's "teenage" tone of voice, which may have worked given her background and origins, but I felt like it detracted from the reading experience for me. I couldn't really feel a connection with the characters. But the ending is stunning. It's a beautiful cliffhanger, but I don't feel the desire to learn more (possibly because I was never really emotionally attached to begin with.) In fact, I think it would have worked better as the final ending for a stand-alone book. But of course, it is not.(less)
I think Wolfsbane is a good, what I call "first impression" book. While you're reading it, and the moment once you finish, it leaves you with a lot of...moreI think Wolfsbane is a good, what I call "first impression" book. While you're reading it, and the moment once you finish, it leaves you with a lot of emotions and feeling like it's an amazing book. When you go back and think about it maybe a week or two or a month or two later, it doesn't seem as amazing.
I really liked Wolfsbane. It ends with a cliffhanger, but with the type of cliffhanger that I can handle, and I enjoyed the exploration of the Searchers' world that we see here. Andrea Cremer is pretty gutsy with the way she handles the characters and plot twists. She's definitely not afraid of shedding some blood and ending some lives, unlike many other authors.
In Nightshade, I noted how Calla and Shay both didn't really appeal to me. They were both a bit annoying, and I liked Ren better. In Wolfsbane, I like Calla a bit more, I still find Shay annoying (perhaps even more annoying than in Nightshade), and I love Ren. That's all.
Nightspell is a good, solid book, but ended up being an average read--I wasn't in love with it. Though the characters are interesting with clear stren...moreNightspell is a good, solid book, but ended up being an average read--I wasn't in love with it. Though the characters are interesting with clear strengths and clear flaws, I wasn't very attached to any of them. There was something about Nightspell that fell flat for me, and it's not the lack of a romance. While I do love a good romance, I'm actually very glad that there was no romance introduced in Nightspell, since it would have detracted a bit from the story.
I have to give Leah Cypess an A+ for world-building. The realm of Ghostland that she created and the concept of the ghosts themselves are enthralling and beautifully woven. In fact, I feel like the idea itself could have led to an interesting exploration into what it means to be dead or alive, which is touched upon slightly, but never truly discussed. Of course, this may not have been what the author was aiming for.(less)
To be honest, I am not a huge fan of HALO. While it is well-written, I found the characters to be rather bland. The book started off rather slow, and...moreTo be honest, I am not a huge fan of HALO. While it is well-written, I found the characters to be rather bland. The book started off rather slow, and the first half is mainly devoted to building Bethany and Xavier's relationship, which is all fine and dandy except for the fact that reading 200-some pages of obsessing over Xavier isn't exactly my cup of tea. However, things do start to pick up in the second half with the introduction of Jake Thorn and the "dark forces" alluded to (albeit very briefly) in the beginning. Overall, I was not all too impressed with the storytelling and character-building aspect of HALO. The writing is beautiful in many places, though, and I do appreciate the lack of pretentious poetry which seems to crop up quite often in YA novels involving teenage boys masquerading as poets. The few lines of poetry in HALO are actually quite nice, and do not disappoint.(less)