Okay - I love Lisa's writing - all of it. All ages...but this one sets itself apart! This was a very fast read - I started it on a Sunday morning, gotOkay - I love Lisa's writing - all of it. All ages...but this one sets itself apart! This was a very fast read - I started it on a Sunday morning, got NOTHING else done that day, and finished it that evening. It read like a movie and just flew by.
Jules has the issues and angst of being a teenager, with a secret crush and all the heartache that goes with it, while dealing with a Romeo and Juliet type family situation. Oh, and there is that little thing of seeing these fiery visions on every form of media around her. She has no idea why she sees them, and frankly it doesn't matter. There is no long drawn out "Why me?" and the even longer "Oh, I have discovered why!" that so many books now feel necessary. It is what it is and move on. I appreciate that. I don't need to know why she has this - I like seeing what she does with it. How she discovers what is necessary. As for Sawyer - he is grounded and real.
That is the thing - this is a fiction novel so whether you believe in visions or not, you just have to go with it. But the people in fiction still have to reach out and appeal to you. Jules, her siblings, and Sawyer have the same problems that teens at the local high school have. Parents that don't understand them, families that embarrass them and crushes that don't seem to see them. They have to worry about grades, college and curfews. I think that is why the book read so fast - you could relate and wanted to see how they solved their problems. How did they deal with? Can any of that be brought out of the book and in to life?
Teens will relate and for anyone who has not read Lisa's other teen books, this is a great gateway book. Yes, Lisa McMann's books are addictive and any of them can be gateways...be forewarned! The only problem with reading this now is waiting for the next one to come out. The ending for this explosive (HA! Sorry - bad pun - couldn't help it!) but is intriguing and I can't wait for the next installment! ...more
I must start out by saying that I am a huge Ilsa J Bick fan! I discovered her with Ashes (which I almost didn't read but am SO glad I did!) and have cI must start out by saying that I am a huge Ilsa J Bick fan! I discovered her with Ashes (which I almost didn't read but am SO glad I did!) and have clamored to get my hands on everything else since.
With that said, when I heard this one was available, I had to get a copy as soon as possible! I was able to do that and immediately began the book. It didn't take long to realize that unlike all the others I read, where I would start and not stop until the last page, then re-read multiple times, I needed to take a different approach with Sin-Eater's Confession. This one deserved to be read slowly. That is not easy to do. This is not a book filled with constant, or near constant, action. It is not a book that will keep you on the edge of your seat at all times waiting for the other shoe to fall, to see who dies. You know who dies from the summary on the back. You even get an inkling how he dies. What keeps you on your seat is seeing just how far reaching that death is. And it does. It reaches physically, mentally and emotionally well beyond one person, or even one family.
There are several relevant issues addressed in this book. There are elements of domestic violence, underage drinking, homosexuality, bullying, invasion of privacy, "tiger mom" syndrome, sibling rivalry, war, forced and enforced religion. With this many issues, the chances of the book and characters becoming either too shallow to relate to or too scattered for you to care is great. Somehow, and I don't know if it's Ilsa's background in psychiatry, the Air Force or the strength of her own character and convictions, but somehow Ilsa pulls it together. And you give a damn about the characters and what is happening to them. You may not always like or agree with them, but you find yourselves caring. Even the characters that you don't see that often, you can sympathize with their reactions, or detest them because of their inaction. You can relate. I think most of us have met someone from this book, even if you have never lived in a small town. Maybe we have reacted in the same way as the characters and maybe we have taken a different path. But the fact remains, we have all seen this. We just didn't realize how our response would reach others. Ilsa has given us one scenario. And, unfortunately, it's not that far fetched.
Bottom line - I am only upset that I cannot talk freely about this book with others until March! I hate spoilers and will not post them here. However, once I can discuss this book freely, beware anyone who asks a casual question! I love the Ashes trilogy (so far!) and I know that series are the thing in publishing now. However, we all need to pay attention to Ilsa's standalone novels. She manages to wrap up the story, not always with a red bow on top and a nice neat ending, but you will not feel cheated by the end. She leaves room for interpretation and personal experience without skimping on the characters and details. With what she gets in a novel, they should be the size of War and Peace but they are "bite-sized" compared to that tome. And yet, they bring a new world to each reader and leave you full. She makes you think and feel and I appreciate the way in which she does it....more
I am a HUGE fan of The Passage. Enough that I find ways to recommend/handsell it to everyone in the lit section that I possibly can! So, I was lookingI am a HUGE fan of The Passage. Enough that I find ways to recommend/handsell it to everyone in the lit section that I possibly can! So, I was looking forward to/dreading the release of The Twelve. I always worry because sometimes in a trilogy it is the second that suffers. The first sets up the characters and the storyline, the second can seem to drag and the third thrills you again!
With that said.....
The Twelve completely blows that theory out of the water! This is one of those "second" books that takes the wonder of the first story, the only reason you pick up the second!, and runs. I found myself right back in Amy's world only to find that it isn't just Amy's anymore. Justin brings all those characters from The Passage that you enjoyed but knew you had to get through to see Amy and turns them people as important, to the story to the book and to the new world, as Amy is. In fact, in this one she, while always important, takes a back seat to everyone else. You know it will all come down to her, but you realize that she needs help to get there. And what help she gets!!
Characters from the first one that we only got glimpses of have their story told so you understand just why they are as dedicated and important as they seem to be. Characters you can't get enough of - you get more. Too much more and I get into the land of spoilers. As much as I NEED to talk to someone about this...I can't give it away - it wouldn't be fair. However, I will tell you this - the last few chapters took my breath away and have left feeling bereft for not having the third.
Bottom line - The Passage and The Twelve are seamless. There is no loss of story or character between the two despite the time lapse between their publications. This is one of those series that I have my signed copies and I have my reading copies. I will have to replace my reading copies soon. Like all wonderful literature, these have become old friends, scary friends but friends!, and must be revisited on a regular basis. ...more
I am not a big memoir reader but the description of this book just caught me up. Having mental illness in my extended family, I think I related. HowevI am not a big memoir reader but the description of this book just caught me up. Having mental illness in my extended family, I think I related. However, nothing prepared me for the extent of the illness of this child and the ineptitude of the system. They have completely failed her and her family. This is an ongoing issue across the country. She is just an extreme case.
The writing was a little rough and irregular. This could have been helped in editing or by a ghost writer. However, by not using a ghost writer you get the real voice. You get the raw emotional struggles of the author (Janni's father) as well as his own struggles. She comes by her mental illness naturally. There were several incidences that could have been expanded on more to give a fuller picture but not having them expanded did not detract from the story.
This book put me in mind of another book written by an emotionally terrified and scarred parent - Bubble Gum Trooper. This one was also rough and raw and not written by a ghost writer. The emotional hit to the reader was just as hard because it was raw. There wasn't the glossy feel to it that you get with so many memoirs.
I read another review where they wanted to read this farther into the future to see how Janni's progress goes. If you check their blog, you will see that they are back together again and dealing. I personally preferred to see this written now because it is an extreme case and highlights the failures. You see that they system didn't fail her later on down the line - it failed her from the beginning. For me, it also proved just how far you will go for your children. ...more
I am a huge Scott Sigler fan to begin with. Sometimes that good and sometimes it just sets a book up for failure. Nocturnal did not disappoint! From tI am a huge Scott Sigler fan to begin with. Sometimes that good and sometimes it just sets a book up for failure. Nocturnal did not disappoint! From the opening scene, I thought I knew the direction this was going to take. Was I Wrong!!!! I did not see the plot twists this was going to take. Bryan should not be likeable. He really shouldn't. But I found myself liking him and hoping that things worked out for him. That doesn’t mean they did. At least not all of them. Scott Sigler, unlike some authors, is not afraid to get his hands dirty in his writing. His characters are not all going to be likable nor are they all going to live! That is one of the things that make his books exciting – you never know if you are becoming attached and invested in a character that might die, gruesomely, on the next page. His San Francisco is so vividly described that I can see the cracks and grooves in the wall where the body is staked. You can see the blades of grass stained with blood and gore. You can feel the breath and smell the fetid reek as the monsters come in for the kill. The plot moves at so many levels without losing cohesion or direction. Even though there are many characters involved, it is not difficult to keep track of them. They all weave together seamlessly in the tapestry that is Nocturnal. Absolutely a must read for any fans of Sigler and the horror genre. ...more
So often the father in the teen pregnancy stories is a deadbeat or runner - loves the mother but is afraid to become a father and can't handle the preSo often the father in the teen pregnancy stories is a deadbeat or runner - loves the mother but is afraid to become a father and can't handle the pressure. Later realizes just how much he misses the mother and loves his child and returns. Joy joy everyone is happy as a family. The cute toddler (never that old) is happy to have both parents and all is well.
This is not one of those stories. I love Diane's style of writing to begin with. And this story is just a continuation with that. Travis Brown is a wonderful character. There are real Travis Browns out there and it's about time they have a spot in the literary limelight.
Travis is a 23 year old with a four year old daughter. Tragedy has come to their door and pounded to be let in. As a result, he and Bella - light of his life - have to leave all they know and move inland so Travis can try to find work. The idea that he gets caught up in a bad situation out of desperation is not new. But Diane handles it with grace and with real emotion. You will feel the fear that Travis feels when he thinks he might lose Bella. The relief and guilt he feels when he meets Erin who sees her recently deceased daughter in all little girls around her. Bella is no exception. However, where some writers would fall into the trap of having Erin be the danger Travis does not see coming. That does not happen here. Erin is a good person grieving a lost child. Now the plot twist would not be complete without the absent parent. It's a twist that the lost parent is the mother. Through her own story, we learn why Robin is not a part of Bella's live.
These three lives are intertwined through Bella. Without them realizing it right away. The way they are brought together is entrancing and engaging and frightening. Are there bad guys? Of course - there have to be. Only with that balance of those bad intentions can you truly see and feel the love and protective nature the adults have for Bella.
This is a great book for those fans of Jodi Piccoult and Kristin Hannah....more
What a fabulous book! It is Men in Black meets X-Men meets Bourne Identity. All with a British accent! I loved this book from the beginning. It startsWhat a fabulous book! It is Men in Black meets X-Men meets Bourne Identity. All with a British accent! I loved this book from the beginning. It starts out very seriously with a woman standing in the rain with a letter from herself that she cannot remember writing. It only moves quickly from there. This novel does not slow down. There is supernatural abilities being cultivated by secret governmental agencies with a touch of the “Awww” factor but mostly just “Holy Cow!” For an amnesiac running out of time, Myfanwy Thomas meets the challenges in her path. Everything from figuring out who wanted her memory wiped clean, what her powers are, who the various people in her department answer to and how to work the coffee machine!
This book just continues to move forward – but not at a breakneck speed. That indicates the story moves so quick that you can’t stop. This story moves at such a pace that you can slow down, back up, reread the description of the dragon and laugh a SECOND time before moving forward. Yes, I said dragon!
The BBC and Monty Python could not have done this better! Settle in with a cup of tea, turn on some music and prepare for the story to take you away.
This is most definitely a feel good story. The story of two women, who become sisters in many ways, and how their lives intersect, fly apart and comeThis is most definitely a feel good story. The story of two women, who become sisters in many ways, and how their lives intersect, fly apart and come back together. It is great for a quick read and something with some emotion but not too heavy.
Although the author did a great job of moving the story along most of the time, there were moments when it just felt like the passages from a couple of previous passages were being repeated. Even though I understand the time it takes to get over a major trauma, and each main character has one of their own, that time could have been moved in the novel a little faster. Passage of time in a novel can be conveyed without actually moving through the time.
Don’t get me wrong – I enjoyed the book. It was a great departure from my normal genres of horror or young adult but it hasn’t converted me from those genres to this one. ...more
I really enjoyed Draw the Dark. I loved Ashes. Drowning Instinct is just continuing the trend! The whole concept is one that is so prevalent in societI really enjoyed Draw the Dark. I loved Ashes. Drowning Instinct is just continuing the trend! The whole concept is one that is so prevalent in society today - especially now - but unlike the headlines both parties come across as human and vulnerable. They are real people. Does that mean that I would like my daughter to be in Jenna's shoes? Absolutely not! But this is food for thought - that there are more than one side and we need to look at all of them. Even if we don't like both sides.
Do not take this as I approve or condone the relationship between Jenna and Mr. Mitchell. I do not - a pedophile by any other name is still an offender. However, this one is human. Without ever taking his side, Ilsa manages to give us a glimpse into his world. She also gives us a look at how he manipulates and stalks Jenna. How those that should have protected her have left her defenseless but only because they have become that way themselves. Her parents, and to an extent her brother, have become victims as well. In different ways certainly, but victims none the less.
A good book to open eyes and maybe discussions. Ask those teens around - what makes this behavior wrong and why do they think it's right.
We will see how far I get. I don't normally read zombie books (they are the only horror creatures I just can't seem to deal with!) but this one soundsWe will see how far I get. I don't normally read zombie books (they are the only horror creatures I just can't seem to deal with!) but this one sounds like it has more to it the normal "eat brains" zombie book!...more