This was cute. It's a fairly middle-of-the-road YA that probably got bumped up in my estimation because I'm a huge fan of the dolls and the web seriesThis was cute. It's a fairly middle-of-the-road YA that probably got bumped up in my estimation because I'm a huge fan of the dolls and the web series. The novel deviates a bit from the animated canon, setting the characters into a high school that is integrated with non-monsters; the whole monster thing is a huge secret, which sets up some tension and moves the plot. The novel also introduces a "normie" girl, Melody Carver, to give the opposite perspective.
The story begins with the Carver family moving to Salem, Oregon (the site of Merston "Monster" High) from Beverly Hills; at the same time, Frankie Stein is being "born" in her father's laboratory. This first novel follows both girls as they experience being the new girls at school, each trying to find their place among the mixed population there. Frankie does the most moving of plot, because she is a monster in hiding, a Regular Attribute Dodger, or RAD- and she doesn't understand why her people can't find acceptance among the normies. Melody, on the other hand, experiences more of the typical trials of fitting in- drama with the school's queen bee, and navigating the rocky waters of a crush on a confusing guy. Things come to a head when the Merston students decide to give their fall semi-formal dance a Monster Mash theme. The novel ends on a bit of a cliff-hanger, which is why I went out and got the next book pretty much immediately.
The only real issue I had with the book was all branding and name dropping. I don't really care to know that Frankie is jamming to Lady Gaga or Timbaland; I don't [i]want[/i] to know that Deuce is wearing an Ed Hardy hat (those poor snakes, lol). However, Harrison makes up for this some by using cute, teen-specific metaphors, such as "Frankie was more charged than a Visa at Christmas".
Overall, this was mind-candy, a neat way to get my Monster High fix while I'm hunting for dolls. It was interesting to see a different take on the characters, and to get a peek at their home life and how the ghouls would fit into our world, as opposed to the monsters-only world of the webisodes.
This book wasn't totally what I expected- it moved much more slowly than I anticipated, and the advertised love story doesn't flourish until halfway tThis book wasn't totally what I expected- it moved much more slowly than I anticipated, and the advertised love story doesn't flourish until halfway through. However, it is beautifully written, and filled with lovely imagery that made me feel immersed in the world of le Cirque de Reves. There was enough intrigue to keep me turning the pages to find out what would happen. Once I adjusted to the sort of story it was, I appreciated it despite not being the story I thought I was getting. I will say, though, that I was much more caught up in the story of Bailey and Poppet than that of the main characters, Marcus and Celia....more
This book is tough to review without spoilers. Deadline continues the story of the After the End Times blogging crew as the conspiracy that changed thThis book is tough to review without spoilers. Deadline continues the story of the After the End Times blogging crew as the conspiracy that changed their lives in Feed continues to unfold. Shaun's narrative voice takes over this time, and once again the team finds themselves in a race against time and around the zombie-ridden country as the stakes grow even higher.
The book's not perfect; Grant can be repetitive at times. In the first book it was George's retinal Kellis-Amberlee and her sunglasses; in Deadline, it's Shaun's desire to punch people in the face and the fact that Shaun drinks coffee while George prefers Coke. Sometimes the scientific stuff goes over my head, so I'm glad there are less informed characters that also require a more blunt explanation of the implications. But the plot is tight, and the suspense is racheted high, and the end is such a huge shocker that I honestly cannot wait for the next volume.
Things I love about this book: Grant's attention to detail and her world-building. The amount of thought the author's put into why there would be zombies and how the world would respond is amazing. I also love that the focus is on the story, and while it's character driven, it's also plot driven- there's no reliance on shmoopy romance or misogynistic horror tropes, which is a true rarity in genre YA. Even with Shaun taking over the first person POV, the women are tough and strong and capable. So much love to Grant for this.
If you love the story, check out the author's livejournal (seanan_mcguire)- there's a prequel of sorts there that was written as a countdown to this book's release. ...more
God, this book was amazing. I mean, what's this, you say? A capable heroine, fallible main characters, and a distinct lack of woobie romance? And it'sGod, this book was amazing. I mean, what's this, you say? A capable heroine, fallible main characters, and a distinct lack of woobie romance? And it's all set against a post-zombie-apocalypse America, during a presidential campaign. There's loads of action and suspense, as well as thought provoking circumstances. Two thumbs way, way up, and I highly recommend this book....more
I really enjoyed getting Karen's POV. She's totally engaging and likeable. I really hope there's more to this series- the short story included with thI really enjoyed getting Karen's POV. She's totally engaging and likeable. I really hope there's more to this series- the short story included with the book, from Popeye's persepctive, only whetted my appetite for more. There were a few threads left unresolved, and I want to see them wrapped up....more
If this book has a theme, I suppose it would be, "Wherever you go, there you are." Quentin, the book's protagonist, is always dreaming and wishing forIf this book has a theme, I suppose it would be, "Wherever you go, there you are." Quentin, the book's protagonist, is always dreaming and wishing for something more. As a mundane, every-day high schooler, though one with above average intelligence, Quentin longs for the world of fantasy and magic in his favorite series, the Narnia-esque Fillory and Further. He thinks he's found it when he is chosen to attend Brakebills, a university for the study of magic.
He soon finds out, however, that he still feels that same restlessness and desire for something more, despite the wonders of being turned into a goose, playing the magical game of Welters, and falling in love. As well, the school is menaced by the Beast, an entity from beyond that even his professors cannot combat. Post-graduation, Quentin continues to find himself at loose ends, until a former schoolmate turns up with what seems to be the key to fulfilling all of Quentin's dreams- but even in another world, all is not what fantasy novels portray it to be.
I really wanted to like this book, and in some ways I did- it was engrossing enough for me to finish, to want to find out what happens next. But I had a hard time with Quentin; I didn't find him sympathetic, I didn't actively want him to be happy, and I just wasn't invested in him. I mostly wanted to give him a good shake, because he's so relentlessly dissatisfied. It's as if Holden Caulfield went to Hogwarts. I much preferred Alice, Quentin's love interest, and I think the story probably would have been much more enjoyable if told through her point of view. I suppose I wanted the story to be imbued with more of a sense of wonder. It is, after all, a work of fantasy, and even if the story the book tells is of the darker and more cynical aspects of the genre, there are still fantastic things happening.
Quentin is never satisfied because the dissatisfaction comes from within, and no outside force, be it Brakebills, Alice, or Fillory, can fix that. Which I suppose is the moral of the story....more
This was a pretty good addition to the series. The plot was a little convoluted, and I'm not sure how I feel about the developments with Pierce, but iThis was a pretty good addition to the series. The plot was a little convoluted, and I'm not sure how I feel about the developments with Pierce, but it was fast paced with lots of action. I enjoyed seeing Rachel struggle to answer the question of what, exactly, she is. I also like seeing more background between Rachel and Trent, and delving deeper into the mystery that is Al. Overall, entertaining while I was sick, so two thumbs up....more