Damn, this book is all kinds of epic. Some books are so bad-ass you read them in one sitting, others are so bad-ass you take your sweet, sweet time reDamn, this book is all kinds of epic. Some books are so bad-ass you read them in one sitting, others are so bad-ass you take your sweet, sweet time reading them. I'm on Team Sweet Sweet Time but will not be surprised if you find yourself on Team One Sitting. The characters' internal struggles are skillfully revealed on the page, the world building is so damn impressive I need future books so I can return to it, and the action scenes are so well done that bodies are on the floor before you even see a weapon swung. The Trials are harrowing, the fights are violent, the stakes are petrifying, and I'm so damn excited to share this book with readers who want a fantasy world that feels real....more
Oh man, really loved this one. Slim, yes, but plenty of heart. Mathieu does an incredible job juggling her cast of four characters (Alice sounds off aOh man, really loved this one. Slim, yes, but plenty of heart. Mathieu does an incredible job juggling her cast of four characters (Alice sounds off at the end, which I loved) and gives them distinct voices and personalities. My favorite was definitely Kurt, the genius and innocent guy who is initially drawn to the fantasy of being with a beautiful girl like Alice but soon discovers who The Real Alice is and realizes it trumps his fantasy. When he falls for Alice, he'll drag readers down with him as he paints a true portrait of who she is amongst three other narratives bringing Alice down with rumors and lies. The ending is really realistic and brings the story to a close, but damn, I'll still take another book narrated by Kurt no matter what. Definitely going to check out the author's next book.
"Even though they had no faces, she could tell they were smiling."
There are faceless men in this book and it's creepy as f**k. DREAMLAND is a chillin"Even though they had no faces, she could tell they were smiling."
There are faceless men in this book and it's creepy as f**k. DREAMLAND is a chilling dark fantasy everyone needs on their radar. The dream sequences and dream world (and those whom inhabit it) are so fully developed, and Robert Louis Anderson has one hell of an imagination. I joked online that if Neil Gaiman and Ransom Riggs had a kid, it'd be Robert Louis Anderson. What I mean by that is that RLA tells a story set prominently in our real world with fantastical elements disturbing the peace and the protagonist, Dea, does one hell of a job dodging and combating antagonizing forces - and breaking the rules she's been raised on. Okay, I won't say anything else. Just add this one to your To-read shelves NOW. ...more
This book is crazy addictive and I stayed up so late finishing it the book fell on my face twice. I figured out the twist before it happened, but it dThis book is crazy addictive and I stayed up so late finishing it the book fell on my face twice. I figured out the twist before it happened, but it didn't kill my reading experience at all. I've already moved onto another Gillian Flynn book, but damn I miss GONE GIRL already. Will probably reread later this year. ...more
Andrew Smith (Winger; Grasshopper Jungle) pens a phenomenal novel abouMy favorite Andrew Smith novel.
REVIEW ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON SHELF-AWARENESS.
Andrew Smith (Winger; Grasshopper Jungle) pens a phenomenal novel about life's many detours, told in the unforgettable voice of an epileptic teenager with heterochromatic eyes (one blue, one green) and a strange history.
When 16-year-old Finn Easton was seven years old, a dead horse that was being transported to a rendering plant fell "one hundred sideways miles" off a bridge and landed on Finn and his mother. The impact broke Finn's back and killed his mother. His epilepsy, which he may grow out of, is a "souvenir" of the accident, and if he does grow out of it, he suspects he may miss the way the seizures empty the words out of his head. Finn measures the world in miles instead of minutes, because he believes "distance is more important than time." His crush, Julia Bishop, a Chicago transplant living with her aunt and uncle because of a devastating secret, admires Finn's perspective on life. The moment he meets Julia, Finn wonders "how many atoms from the same calamities out there in the universe our body shared.... Maybe my right hand and her left hand both came from the same supernova." Julia, ever astute, gets why Finn named his dog Laika, is patient with him during his wild mood swings when he's returning from a "blank out" (seizure) and, most importantly, she loves Finn back. Which makes it crushing for both Finn (and readers) when Julia must return to Chicago--the very place where she was victim of a tragedy that makes Finn wish he "could push the world back all those miles with my bare hands and make it change direction," even if it means they'd never have met.
Throughout the novel, Finn suffers from an identity crisis as he questions whether or not he's the product of his father's bestselling cult-classic novel, The Lazarus Door, starring a protagonist with the teen's name, heterochromatic eyes, seizures, and scars identical to the ones he has on his back from his post-accident surgery. So Finn sets out on a road trip with his best friend, the memorable Cade Hernandez, to figure out the ending to his story, when an unexpected accident rewrites their future.
Smith's sly commentary on today's school system ("designed to make us all the same," in Cade's words) intertwines with the story of Finn's desperation to break out and be different--not a reproduction of anyone's expectations. The well-rounded supporting characters and the Southern California setting make for a welcome departure from the usual glitz of Los Angeles life. Hilarious and wise, 100 Sideways Miles is an addictive and panoramic read about the intersecting--and divergent--paths that lie ahead. Breathtakingly good....more
Got this as a birthday gift from my friend Donna and I loved it. I thought it was just going to be little cute paragraph-long entries but there's actuGot this as a birthday gift from my friend Donna and I loved it. I thought it was just going to be little cute paragraph-long entries but there's actually a narrative worth following along. So funny. ...more
Cammie McGovern's (The Art of Seeing) first young adult novel overturns stereotypes and shines a spotlight onORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON SHELF AWARENESS.
Cammie McGovern's (The Art of Seeing) first young adult novel overturns stereotypes and shines a spotlight on characters who soar above their crippling limitations.
The summer before senior year Amy e-mails Matthew: "Tell me the truth. That's all." Amy has cerebral palsy and she's convinced her mother to swap out her adult aides for peer helpers so she can learn how to relate to people her own age as she prepares for college. Amy requests that Matthew apply because he doesn't shy away from the reality of her disabilities. But the honesty she draws out of him makes him nervous, especially when it comes to her endearing persistence about why he doesn't like sleepovers. Since the ninth grade, Matthew has suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder, and the voice in his head commands him never to reveal the truth about his routines. But Amy challenges him with exercises to help him overcome his mounting panic attacks and begin the healing process. Still, for all of their honesty, it's the withheld truths that threaten to pull them apart.
McGovern's nuanced writing brings these well-rounded and unforgettable characters to life. She does not define them by their handicaps or limitations, but rather she illuminates the ways in which they help each other and grow through that process. Fans of Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor and Park and Stoner & Spaz by Ron Koertge may well lose themselves in this diverse and rewarding romance. Say What You Will is touching, honest and compulsively readable....more
THE GIRL AT MIDNIGHT is bound to be a hit with fantasy readers who loved Laini Taylor's DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE trilogy. Plus, if you enjoyed the hTHE GIRL AT MIDNIGHT is bound to be a hit with fantasy readers who loved Laini Taylor's DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE trilogy. Plus, if you enjoyed the humor and action found Cassandra Clare's The Mortal Instrument series, this is also up your alley. Echo is a pickpocket who is capable, hilarious, and bad-ass and finds herself wanting to track down a mythical firebird to not only put an end to a war between two warring races, but to feel like she's earned herself a place in the family that took her in as a child. And everything just gets so crazy from there but Melissa Grey manages the chaos with a careful hand. The multiple perspectives never bleed into another so don't worry about being lost as to whose story you're following, but the multiple characters themselves DO bleed often so worry about which of your favorite characters is going to survive instead. (NO ONE IS SAFE, GUYS.) This debut blazes and I can't wait to see it catch fire with readers everywhere....more
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED AS A STARRED REVIEW ON SHELF AWARENESS
In Jennifer E. Smith's (The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight; This Is What HaORIGINALLY PUBLISHED AS A STARRED REVIEW ON SHELF AWARENESS
In Jennifer E. Smith's (The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight; This Is What Happy Looks Like) latest novel, she ignites a spark between two teens during a citywide blackout, just as they are separated by circumstances.
When New York City is "snuffed out like a candle" during a blackout, Lucy and Owen find themselves stuck in their building's elevator. Sixteen-year-old Lucy goes to a private school and lives in apartment 24D; 17-year-old Owen lives in the basement with his father, the new building superintendent. There's instant chemistry as they await rescue, despite the fact that Owen is not as enamored with the city as Lucy is, having just moved to Manhattan from rural Pennsylvania after his mother died in a car accident. But shortly after the lights come back on, Lucy and her family move to Edinburgh for her father's new job, and Owen and his father travel out west after he's fired. Smith tugs at the heartstrings of her characters and readers as this romance unfolds across the world.
Owen and Lucy stay in contact through e-mails and postcards, but Smith realistically depicts the two teens as their lives move forward. Even so, they both still think about that one night "the world went dark." Readers will find themselves lost in the long-distance trials of longing and hoping, and, in her strongest novel to date, Smith ultimately finds a glowing end for her protagonists....more
This arresting debut fantasy, inspired by Beauty and the Beast and set against a backdrop of Greek myths, starsORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON SHELF AWARENESS
This arresting debut fantasy, inspired by Beauty and the Beast and set against a backdrop of Greek myths, stars 17-year-old Nyx, who has been raised to marry and kill the prince of demons.
Although the citizens disagree about what left Tartarus vulnerable, the kingdom fell into the hands of the Gentle Lord, Ignifex, who cut them off from the rest of the world. Nyx's father, Leonidas, bargained with the Gentle Lord to allow his wife to conceive twin girls. In exchange, one daughter would be betrothed to Ignifex when she turned 17. Leonidas trained Nyx to inscribe nullifying sigils of the four elements throughout the Gentle Lord's castle in order to free their homeland. Meanwhile, Nyx's aunt taught her to seduce her new husband ("[D]o whatever it takes to make him trust you," she says). But nothing prepares Nyx for the transformation she will undergo in the Gentle Lord's company. Shade, the living shadow servant of the Gentle Lord, adds to an ensemble of well-layered characters as he defies his master to help Nyx carry out her plan. The mystery of Shade's true identity is sure to keep readers engaged.
Hodge's ambitious debut is well executed, with grand prose and a fully realized world with a system of magic that even well-versed fantasy readers will find refreshing. Nyx's call of duty and desire to survive keeps her from surrendering completely to her dark marriage, but those seeking romance will be plenty satisfied with her interactions between the Gentle Lord and Shade. A captivating read....more