Switched is an alluring, richly beautiful blend of dark gothic fantasy meets fairytale. It is a powerfully seductive and suspenseful paranormal romancSwitched is an alluring, richly beautiful blend of dark gothic fantasy meets fairytale. It is a powerfully seductive and suspenseful paranormal romance, that is cleverly written, and gives a unique twist to the magical fantasy realms Hocking creates. Her words bring life to the pages, with stunning imagery that puts readers right inside the pages. She creates a world of memorable characters that possess flawless traits, which sets them apart from other characters in most young adult paranormal romance novels. They are richly developed character's that are compelling and likable, yet sympathetic to readers. They will leave readers wanting the best for them.
Wendy is a wonderfully strong female anti-heroine unlike any other I've read in young adult fiction, which is a breath of fresh air. It is interesting to see her struggle with all of the obstacles that cross her path and then have to shoulder responsibilities no one her age, should have to do and do it all with beautiful strength and courage. The character growth that Hocking applies to Wendy throughout this book, is extremely well executed. She does a phenomenal job at tapping into that emotional well of fear, mystery, intrigue, and the greater responsibility that weighs upon her shoulders. She has a whole new world to discover that comes along with duty, honor, sacrifice, and destiny.
Finn Holmes, is a marvelously written mysteriously sexy guardian that is tasked with keeping her safe and returning her to her rightful home. For months he has been doing this, until he reveals his true identity to Wendy. He is not human and just as her mother feared, she isn't either.
The way in which Hocking handles this development in plot, is wonderfully masterful and the emotional relationship that she slowly works to build between these two, is beautifully realistic and fantastically written. They way it progressed, was captivating as it showcased strong qualities and interesting quirks. It seemed as if they were two halves of a whole coming together and it was incredibly heart-breaking and filled with beautiful passion, angst and longing.
Incredible character arcs are fleshed out, with beautiful storytelling abilities. Her villains are wildly dark and thrilling. They are mysteriously alluring individuals capable of danger unlike any other reader's will discover in young adult literature. The level of world building, including this breath-taking new realm of paranormal fantasy that she's created will have reader's clamoring for more. Her unique and clever decision to tell such a dark and compelling magical fantasy filled tale full of trolls versus the usual vampires and werewolves, makes her stand out apart from the usual paranormal novels on shelves. This world is both frightening as it is beautiful, which makes it so beguiling and filled with dark illustrious seductive charm. There is danger, heart-stopping action, and intrigue that fill the wonderful pages of this novel. Readers will simply not be able to put it down until the last page has been turned.
There seems to be underlying hints of psychological darkness that sort of shadows the story being told, which gives it another edge. There are incredible amounts of mystery and deeply hidden secrets that begin to unravel as the story progresses, that will keep readers engaged. With cleverly written characters, unique storylines that will hook readers, and elaborately rich dark and compelling characters Switched is a book that readers will be unable to put down. Readers who enjoy dark fantasies involving the paranormal such as Tolkien'sLord of the Rings, the brilliant writing style of J.K. Rowling'sHarry Potter series, or the beautiful dark gothic richness of Margaret Stohl'sBeautiful Creatures are sure to enjoy the dark and wonderfully lush magical realms of The Trylle....more
First of all, the cover of this book was part of the reason I wanted to read it, because it’s pretty and I’m a girl and girls usually like pretty thinFirst of all, the cover of this book was part of the reason I wanted to read it, because it’s pretty and I’m a girl and girls usually like pretty things. Plus, the whole premise of the book just sort screamed one word out at me: FUN!
And I was so very not disappointed, either.
The Lipstick Laws is sort of like Mean Girls plus Clique equals a world of fun, flirty, sabotage. Also, who doesn’t want to be one of the most popular girl’s in high school, sitting with the best and the prettiest girls at lunch, and hanging with them at the mall on a Saturday afternoon?
The main character of the book is extremely relatable and pretty much down to earth, witty, an all around good girl just trying to get through high school unscathed without experiencing more humiliation than possible, while trying to end up dating the hottest boy in school. Oh, and she’s got to have friends.
The lipstick law’s themselves, oh my lord; I don’t even think I could have lived by them. I mean, seriously, I think they’d probably have to invent a few more just to accommodate me. Those laws were hilarious and heinous at the same time and way too crazy. Everyone has flaws and these girls are no exception to the rule, in fact that’s why a few of these laws were designed around those flaws. The “mean girls” aren’t just mean for the sake of being mean, there are reasons why they act out.
In a lot of ways, the book sort of reminded me of that old saying, “Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.” It’s a good message to be sending to the younger generation or anyone in general. Plus, by telling the story this way and having each of the girls invent a law wrapped around their issue, past, or whatever the case may be, it gives the story a new twist on an already older story that’s been told.
For me, personally, one of the things I enjoyed most about this book, is how realistic the author wrote each one of her character’s, from the mean girl Britney to the geek who actually turned out to be a hottie after all, Delvin McGerk. It was just really fun to sit back and watch the feud between the Lipstick Lawless and the Lipstick Lawbreakers unfold, with all of their crazy schemes and antics all to the tune of a Taylor Swift song, “she took him faster than you could say sabotage.”
In the end, after all of the feuding, the schemes, and the crazy shenanigan’s April showed that she was the better person, by taking the high road and refusing to let Britney and the leftover Lipstick Lawless lackeys ruin the rest of her senior year, when presented with a chance to stoop to her level – she simply didn’t.
It was a nice wrap-up to a story that I was half afraid would end up being a bit cliché, I was very pleasantly surprised and happy with the how quickly I became engrossed with the story and just didn’t want to put the book down until I’d read the last page to make sure that April did end up with the hottie of her dreams and a group of really fantastic friends to round everything out. Oh, and the boobical cubical was pretty damn funny. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone that might be looking for a fun, fast-paced, light summer read or just in general. It gets four stars from me easily and is a book that I will re-visit every summer or at random times during the year for a re-read, when I need something to make laugh out loud hysterically and root for those crazy rebel Lipstick Lawbreaker’s.
All in all, I was happy to receive a copy of this in e-pub format through Net Galley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in exchange for an honest review. I do not charge for my reviews, as I enjoy reading and speaking honestly and openly about what I did or didn't enjoy about the books I read. ...more
“Stunned residents of Black Creek, North Carolina, pray for seventeen year old Patrick Truman, beaten and left for dead outside the convenience store“Stunned residents of Black Creek, North Carolina, pray for seventeen year old Patrick Truman, beaten and left for dead outside the convenience store where he works.”Shinepp 11
Shine, is the first book I’ve had the pleasure of reading written by Lauren Myracle and I was extremely jazzed about getting the galley for the digital ARC a few days ago. It didn’t take me very long at all to read it. From the first sentence to the last, I was drawn in and was unable to put the book down. In the end, I was not disappointed.
From the moment that I read the synopsis provided through goodreads, I decided this was a book that I had to read for many different reasons and I knew that I wouldn’t just be reading for it personal enjoyment, even though I did enjoy it quite a bit. I was truly invested in the storyline and the characters, the depiction of the small mountain town of Asheville, North Carolina, among other things the book seemed to offer.
It wasn’t easy reading this book from an emotional stand point, but I do believe that it was a story that needed to be told and Lauren Myracle did a wonderful job of doing just that. From growing up in a small town myself, it wasn’t hard at all for me to look at a few of these characters in question and think to myself, “I know this person; I grew up with someone just like them.”
The small town mentality, the poverty, the prejudices, the drugs (meth, which seemed to be the drug of choice featured in this particular novel) and the other issues she touched upon were written very well, delicately handled with aplomb, and illustrated in such a way that it wasn’t hard to feel something other than hatred, something more akin to compassion in a manner of thinking when you stripped the whole story down to the core and just really looked at it – guts and all.
The element of mystery the novel provided was there and held strong with each turn of the page. In fact, I was pretty sure that it was one particular character that had done it up until a certain point based on other things that he had done or had happened prior, but then the author surprised me by proving my theory wrong. I was delighted with this aspect.
I want to applaud her for bringing to light how backwards that small town was, how ready those people were to look the other way and just bury whatever bad had happened. It was very much a feel of, “don’t go beggin’ for trouble next door, you do best to mind your own” something that I’d grown up hearing on a few different occasions in my life which meant, “Don’t you be drawing too much attention because it could be the wrong kind it’s just not you’re place.”
Shine does a wonderful job of illustrating self-loathing, to the point of losing yourself or a loved one to the use of drugs. It’s a very terrifying and lonely place to find oneself in, especially if you’re wielding that self-loathing onto someone else without even realizing that you’ve become the monster that you’ve always protected them from. Which, is why I say that in a way, the story possesses not just hatred, but compassion of some kind for the person(s) lost; I take that away from the book with a line towards the end.
“It was right to be sad when sad things happened.”Shine, pp 356
I found myself going back and forth on who my favorite character was, but when you get down to it I think I ended up identifying the most with Cat and I quite enjoyed her. I like that she was determined to find out what happened to Patrick and once she did, she was still able to have love and compassion in her heart. Everything isn’t black and white, life just isn’t that simple and nor should it be.
Cat’s brother, Christian, illustrates that for reader’s easily. In a town as small as Asheville was, where everybody knows everyone else and gossip is just as prevalent in the Church as it would be in the local beauty parlor, not many choices were easily available to the town’s people and they had to make do or find themselves making nice with other’s they might not normally like.
More than anything, I’m grateful that she decided to shine on a light on hate crimes that happen instead of just sweeping them under the rug like yesterday’s dirt trekked in across a linoleum kitchen floor and look the other way out the adjacent window adorning the next wall. It’s hard to read, but it’s worth it. And I truly hope that this book can inspire bravery in others to step forward and to not go “quietly into that good night.”...more