Full Review to post to the My Precious Blog @ thecallawayfam.blogspot.com
What a suspense filled dystopia thriller! Unique world buildFull Review to post to the My Precious Blog @ thecallawayfam.blogspot.com
What a suspense filled dystopia thriller! Unique world building, genetic references and heart pounding adventure. This is one of those books which is difficult to step away from. Each time I had to put it down I had the urge to get right back to reading it as soon as I possible could. The writing style was plain and straightforward. Short sentence structure with concise details made this book an easy quick read. The suspense and mystery it held kept me turning pages as fast as I could read them. What a great start to a new dystopia trilogy. I can't wait to see what happens next. The best part was this definitely could be read as a stand alone novel. No cliffhangers, just unfinished business and lots of story left to tell....more
More like 4.5 stars!!! What a powerful and moving little read about a girl searching for her voice and so much more. I really enjoyed reading this booMore like 4.5 stars!!! What a powerful and moving little read about a girl searching for her voice and so much more. I really enjoyed reading this book, it was an emotional ride, the perfect fit for dog lovers and people lovers. Full Review to come closer to the Pub Date.
This book explored some pretty deep morals and values around the use of supernatural powers like telekinesis and clairvoyance. The ideas were imaginatThis book explored some pretty deep morals and values around the use of supernatural powers like telekinesis and clairvoyance. The ideas were imaginative the only problem I had was the author seemed to only scratch the surface. This is a book I can say for sure is quite pigeon-holed just for the target audience. I think the main thing holding others back from total enjoyment of the book would be the simplistic writing style. The book holds so much more promise, I hope the writing gets richer in future installments. ...more
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (July 10, 2012) Length: Hardcover, 368 pages Format: E-Arc Source: NetGalley.com Genre: Contemporary, Time Travel, Romance, YA Series: No, Stand Alone Novel Completed: July 2012 Challenges: 2012 Ebook Challenge, 2012 Completely Contemp Challenge, 2012 Outdo Yourself Challenge, 2012 DAC Challenge
Underdogs, nerds, geeks, nobodies, invisibles, every high school has a different name for the total losers of the school. Ugly, zit faced, boobless Annie Nutter falls into this class of kids. Her dad is a hoarder, her mom shops for the family clothes at Walmart and her younger brother can't seem to stop belching. One day, at Walmart, Annie finds her mother weeping over a magazine article published in Architectural Digest. After calling her out on it, Annie discovers her mother almost married the doctor guy who's home was featured in the magazine. It appears her mother could have had an entirely different life if she would have hooked up with James Monroe, MD instead of Annie's father, Melvin Nutter. Then, that very night one of Annie's father's inventions completely malfunctions, somehow sending Annie time traveling to a parallel universe. She wakes up as bitchy, Queen Bee Ayla Monroe. The only caveat is Annie's soul is still intact. How will she handle this new life and will she ever be able to find her way home or worse, does she even want to go back?
New York Times best selling author Roxanne "Rocki" St. Claire has written over thirty adult books in multiple genres. (Amazon.com). According to her website she's been writing ever since she received a typewriter as a birthday gift when she was twelve. She is the youngest of five sibling, all overachievers. Currently, she resides in Florida, with her two teenaged kids, her hubby and their beloved dog, Pepper. Don't You Wish is her debut Young Adult Novel. It is a stand alone book.
SETTING PACE AND STYLE
This story has two settings, it begins in Pittsburg, PA and then switches to Miami FL and then returns back to Pittsburg for its conclusion. Its a contemporary, sic-fi, fairy-tale conglomerate. Plus time travel is also incorporated. This is a quick, fun read. The writing is very readable and its a great little pick me up story. Don't you Wish is told in a first person narrative through the eyes of Annie Nutter who is transformed into Ayla Monroe.
CHARACTERS AND PLOT
Annie Nutter (aka Ayla Monroe) is a nerdy band geek who comes from a lower class family. She's a dreamer, wondering what it would be like to have a different life, a life where she was pretty and wealthy. Then she wakes up one morning in Ayla Monroe, a wealthy mean girl's body.
Then, she meets Charlie, a geeky guys who's totally into science. Its certainly NOT cool for her (A-list Ayla) to be interested in a nerd like Charlie. He could jeopardize her popularity rating.
Instead she has, Ryder, her own self absorbsed, so full of himself boyfriend who's interested in only one thing - sex!
Bliss & Jade are Ayla's mean girl BFF's. These girls are so rich they look down on everyone. All they care about is making the A-List and their popularity, which makes them even more despicable.
Lizzie , Annie Nutter's best friend, though is totally different, in a good way. She's a thoughtful girl who always has a person's back, someone who's a great listener and one who will never reveal your secrets.
PLOT: When a geeky girl wishes for a different life, she wakes up one morning transformed into the beautiful rich girl she's always longed to be, but will this change really bring her all the happiness she was searching for?
This book would be the perfect for those seeking a "feel good" book or those readers who love to cheer for the underdog. I think girls may gravitate towards this one more than guys, due to the subject matter. Looking for a contemporary book with a unique twist - time travel - than pick this one up. Parents who want to give their teens a book with a heroine who makes good decisions with a strong moral character, this would be a good fit. Finally, those wanting to read a book with subtle life lessons Don't You Wish is the perfect choice.
This was a very quick, easy and entertaining read. I enjoyed following along with Annie Nutter as she struggles to remain "cool" in the body of Queen Bee, Ayla Monroe. She's faced with a barrage of sensitive teen issues: underage drinking, elicit drug abuse and premarital sex. All are extremely tough situations, none of which she'd ever encounter as the old Annie Nutter. It was refreshing to see how she admirably works her way out of each difficult situation with both class and character.
The sci-fi parts of the book about time travel, quantum physics and parallel universes were all a nice touches. These elements weren't forced, instead they were eloquently integrated into the plot line. The characters the author expected to reader to bond with were easy to befriend. Characters who were meant to be mean girls or lousy boyfriends played the parts perfectly.
The little moral lesson weaved into the plot lines were not tossed in your face, but instead placed nicely in a way that didn't feel preachy. It was refreshing to meet a heroine with such strong moral character. Annie Nutter even as Ayla Monroe truly had a heart of gold.
My only reservations about this book was the ending was relatively improbable. It worked out, but I really had to place myself in fairy tale mode to be happy with it. I did appreciate this book was a stand alone, which is refreshing change up to all the series being published lately.
This one earns Four Rings. One Ring has been deducted for sort of implausible ending, but other than this slight flaw the story was a cute, uplifting, quick read. Its a very entertaining story with quite a few nice moral messages for teens weaved in along the way.
4 Rings (Entertaining - Looked forward to Reading) ...more
Publisher: The Chicken House (September 1, 2012) Length: Hardcover, 256 pages Format: E-Arc Source: Netgalley.com Genre: Contemporary, Fairytale, Fantasy, MG Series: No, Stand Alone Novel Completed: August 2012 Challenges: 2012 DAC, 2012 Ebook Challenge, 2012 YA/MG Fantasy Challenge, 2012 Outdo Yourself Challenge
When Emma sister turns up missing, their family relocates to a trailer part near a forest full of crags. Here she meets a Jack the One-Eyed talking cat. Jack swears he can help Emma find her sister, but in order to do so, she must eat a Pride's Heart, transforming herself into a leader of cats. Together, along with her pride, they embark on a quest into the dangerous, dark forest, filled with evil creatures, to rescue Emma's sister or die trying.
From their website: "Mike and Rachel Grinti are a husband-and-wife writing team. They write middle grade fantasy, though they have dipped into YA on occasion. They met at a writing workshop in 2002, though they didn't start writing together until a few years later. They live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the United States." Claws is their debut novel novel. It is a stand alone and not part of any series.
SETTING PACE AND STYLE
A fast paced story taking place in an alternate universe in present times. The writing is creative, spell-bounding and quite magical, as the authors transform well know creatures into something just a little different. This book is written in third person, told from Emma's perspective.
CHARACTERS AND PLOT
I totally admired Emma's fearlessness. After all, she was plucked from a nice family home in suburbia and stuffed into a run down trailer near a forest full of crags. Instead of being scared, she expressed excitement about potentially meeting a troll or harpy. I knew right away she would probably end up being intrepid and adventuresome. I also appreciated how she initially complained about her family's predicament. Then later felt guilty, because she terribly wanted to lay the blame on her sister but she knew it wasn't right to do that. It was evident she missed Helena, even though it seemed liked Emma wasn't quite as popular or hung with the "in" crowd like I got the impression Helena did.
Helena, Emma's lost sister, I didn't find very redeeming character. She appeared selfish, self loathing and only concerned for herself. There were subtle hints in the beginning of the story which led me to believe she may have been lazy, totally into following the latest fads, hanging with the popular crowd. However, it did appear the relationship she had with her younger sister was pretty close.
Jack the One Eyed Cat appears to be quite untrustworthy and selfish in the beginning. He came across as potentially a double crosser, someone with ulterior motives. He's definitely a cat, not a dog and a far cry from Taggle, the beloved cat, in Plain Kate. (I'm not a big cat person - but I did LOVE Taggle). I didn't really bond with Jack, especially in the beginning. I was torn between believing he's a good cat with sincere intentions of helping Emma and thinking he's an evil cat only looking out for himself. So, I guess you could say I simply distrusted him. As the story progressed, he did slowly evolve into something different and much more likable.
Chloe the television junky harpy is a secondary character which I totally enjoyed. She seemed sincere and totally wanted to help Emma and her cause.
The Plot: A young girl braves a forest full of crags, along with her pride of cats, in order to find and rescue her older sister, bringing her family back together again.
This book would be perfect for those readers who enjoy a good fantasy, don't mind talking animals and love to read about unusual, magical creatures. I think both guys and gals will appreciate this action packed adventure story. Its a void of mature content, a nice clean read.
Claws is a middle grade fantasy with a contemporary twist. Its a very unique and enjoyable read. Even though its touted as a contemporary fairytale, I'd consider it mostly fantasy with some contemporary issues mixed in. The world building sets up a place in modern times, riddled with all the up to date gadgetry, including cell phones and Internet. Then, it throws in some fantasy elements by creating a magical forest where "crags" live. Crags are an fanatical creature: harpies, talking cats, rattlers, howlers (saber tooth wolves),witches and fairies, just to name a few. Humans and Crags are segregated and don't co-mingle.
This story was written by a husband and wife team. I'm not sure if they simply just collaborated on the story or if each wrote particular parts or chapters. I never felt like this book had two different styles or that one author was writing some parts and another one penned others. If it was done in this fashion, it was a seamless transition.
One of my favorite aspects of the book was the "Cragwiki". Throughout the story it provided the reader back story and some foreshadowing of what may come. I like the way it presented facts and information I wouldn't otherwise been privy to. I prefer this unique way of information dumping as opposed to excessive dialogues.
The ending wasn't predictable. It concluded by finding solutions to the problems the story presented and it answered all my burning questions, it just felt complete. Claws is a stand alone novel.
This was an entertaining and enjoyable read for me. I had a small issue with one of the characters at the end. For this tiny reason I'm deducting 1/2 ring. I can't say anything more without spoiling stuff.
4.5 out of 5 Rings (ENTERTAINING - REALLY LOOKED FORWARD TO READING) ...more
Angel books are a dime a dozen. There are so many of them, its hard to find something special in the mix. Perusing Goodreads I'd noticed Angelfall getAngel books are a dime a dozen. There are so many of them, its hard to find something special in the mix. Perusing Goodreads I'd noticed Angelfall getting an impressive amount of four and five star reviews. This convinced me I probably should give it a try. I like angel books. I went into this one not expecting to be impressed. Maybe that's why this one ended up being such a pleasant surprise. Its different, managing to clear its own path in angel books. Penryn, the female heroine is brave, with a strong sense of loyalty, especially to her family. What family she has left, happens to be an unconventional one consisting of a schizophrenic mother and a crippled seven year old sister confined to a wheel chair. This book takes place in the future. The earth has been invaded by angels. They have arrived to destroy the earth, determined to eradicate the human race, instead of saving them. Not long after the story opens Penryn's sister is snatched up by the angels and taken away to San Francisco. Left behind is a de-winged angel, Rafe, who she saves because he may be the only link to finding her sister. Rafe is a fierce and beautiful angel. He is a great fighter and a quick thinker. It appeared to me, even from the very start he seemed very protective of Penryn. I guess he felt like he owed her something because she managed to save his wings. Over the course of the story these two develop somewhat of a strange relationship. As the story progresses it seems more and more like Penryn is starting to have some type of romantic feelings for the angel boy, despite her embarrassment about that strange fact. I liked to watch their relationship, if you want to call it that, mature. I was left with so many burning questions about Rafe's intentions towards Penryn after the book ended I sure hope a sequel is in the making. Writing in this one is very descriptive and so easy to get caught up in. The world building was fair. I never totally understood exactly what prompted the angel attack on earth and if they attacked the entire planet or just pockets of the earth. I also wonder if the humans had done something to provoke the attack? The ending felt only like it was settling on a resting point. I felt like a lot of story is still left to tell. ...more
Full review on the My Precious Blog @ thecallawayfam.blogspot.com
SUMMARY Zoel, a teenage drone (girl) living in a futuristic world begins experiencingFull review on the My Precious Blog @ thecallawayfam.blogspot.com
SUMMARY Zoel, a teenage drone (girl) living in a futuristic world begins experiencing "glitches". Instead of viewing "the feed" which The Community links every citizen's brain to, she's actually experiencing emotions, colors and smells. This makes her a anomaly. Glitching needs to be reported immediately. Its imperative Zoel be repaired as soon as possible, there is only one problem - she likes these newly found abilities and doesn't want to give them up. But now someone has discovered her secret....
(From Goodreads) "Heather Anastasiu grew up in Texas and recently moved to Minneapolis with her family. When she's not busy getting lost exploring the new city, she spends most days writing at a café or daydreaming about getting a new tattoo." Glitch is Heather Anastasiu's action packed debut novel. It is book one of a new trilogy.
SETTING PACE AND STYLE
From the first page the author begins to describe the differences in this futuristic world. Writing style oscillates between very formal, plain and matter of fact in some places (sort of like "computer speak"), while in others its descriptive and rich. The story is very fast paced. It starts off with a bang and never really lets up. There are a few short lulls, but during this time its a period of discovery for the main character. One peculiar element was the author's bizarre made up curse language which some of the characters used, replacing other more familiar curses with words like "cracking", "shunting" and "godlamm". Glitch is told in first person through the eyes of Zoel, our female, "glitching"' heroine.
CHARACTERS AND PLOT
Zoel, the main narrator of this story, is a glitching drone. This girl has a vendetta to save everyone. She's harbors a truck load of guilt when things do go as planned, which came off as slightly annoying. Each glitching drone ends up having a super power. Zoel's is telekinesis. In the ends it turns out she does have a level head and a very strong mind.
Adrien a free thinking young man living outside The Community, disconnected from the feed and without a computer chip in his brain. He is an integral part of The Rez a faction of government resistance that is desperately trying to save glitching drones like Zoel. His visions of the future appear to keep him safe while traveling in and out of The Community rescuing people.
Maximum is another drone, one not unlike Zoel in that he's too is experiencing "glitching". His character boarders on overbearing. As his emotions surface, anger and lust move to center stage. Stewing over his obsession with Zoel, he comes across too unstable for me. His outbursts and desire to experience passions with Zoe were just over the top for me. Such a quick-tempered guy. I didn't like him much at all.
When a female drone starts glitching, she discovers she's not alone, but the world she accidently uncovers is full of emotions and controversy, will she be able to handle it and everything it has to offer?
RECOMMENDATION Totally recommend this read to those readers who enjoy dystopian novels which have far fetched premises, romance and love triangles. Computer geeks may best appreciate this author's writing style. If you like tense novels where trouble is always lurking around every corner this book will not disappoint. Guys and well as girls should be able to appreciate this book because its action packed and brimming with adventure. Computer geeks may appreciate a book written in this style, too.
This is a very different and creative read. I loved the world building even though it was far fetched. Many readers weren't into this one, but for me it worked out well. I liked the crazy unbelieveable premise. The citizens in this story live underground in tunnels where air quality must be monitored. They can't feel anything, are unable to see colors and don't have the ability to smell. This world operates under the premise that humans are better off void of emotions, or at least they are easier to control this way. So instead of being a free thinker, each citizen had a computer chip in his/her brain and is linked to a computer feed called "The Link".
The sweet innocence of the glitching drones brought a layer of endearment to the story. None of them had ever experienced emotions. Even a simple word like "sorry" was foreign. Water seeping from eyes was confusing and wet. Speaking blatantly without filters or not knowing proper etiquette proved to be quite humorous or even awkward at times. Dialogues between characters are almost like computers speaking to one another, the language is formal and rigid, but it works in this setting.
Glitch could almost be classified as a dystopian romance, with both instalove and a love triangle. Max and Adrien are the two love prospects who both vie for Zoel. I wasn't bothered by either because the romance was sweet and innocent and the instalove worked into the plot line because of Adrien's visions.
One drawback to the writing was the made up cuss words the author added to the dialogue especially noted when Adrien speaks. He frequently uses these strange made up bad words in place of real curses. I didn't appreciate this element and found it very distracting. It actually brought nothing to the table. I sure hope the author considers leaving these out in the next book, since for me, these strange words were distracting.
The conclusion was open ended, leaving much of the story left untold. The decisions some of the characters made at the last minute left me, surprised and taken aback. I'm really curious now what direction the author will take the next book as she left multiple possibilities.
I rate this one 4 out of 5 rings. I deducted one ring for the made up curse language which I felt distracting from my reading enjoyment. Other than that small flaw I really enjoyed this exciting read!
4 out of 5 Rings (Entertaining - Looked Forward to Reading) ...more
Publisher: Delecorte Books for Young Readers (February 14, 2012) Length: 464 pages Format: e-Arc Source: Netgalley.com Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Se Publisher: Delecorte Books for Young Readers (February 14, 2012) Length: 464 pages Format: e-Arc Source: Netgalley.com Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Series: No Completed: March 2012 Challenges: 2012 YA Debut Author's, 2012 E-Book Challenge, 2012 Completely Contemp Challenge, 2012 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge
SUMMARY When eighteen year old Rosie Kenning mother dies of Huntington's disease, she is left parentless, (her father passed away on the day she was born). Scared, alone and unsure of what direction her life will take her in, she decides her first step should be to take the genetic test which will reveal if she, too will suffer a similar fate as her mother. This way she'll at least know if she has a life to live!
However, in the process of preparing to go through with the genetic testing, a family friend and midwife, reveals to Rosie that Trudie wasn't her biological mom. In fact, Rosie had been switched at birth with another sickly child. A child who was born to a teenaged mother and was going to be put up for adoption, if she survived. With this news, Rosie feels instant relief to not have the deadly Huntington's disease, but at the same time she is now compelled to go in search of her real family. In her quest Rosie ends up uncovering a whole lot more than she ever could have expected.
BACKGROUND Katie Dale is both an author and an actress. She's a terrible cook and was her school's chess champion. Someone Else's Life is Katie's cross over YA debut novel. It is a stand alone novel and was released on Valentine's Day 2012.
SETTING PACE AND STYLE This story takes place across two continents: Europe and the United States as it follows the main character Rosie, along with her college aged boyfriend, Andy, in a quest to find her biological parents. Pacing is moderate, with lots and I emphasize LOTS of unexpected twists and turns. The narration is done in first person, alternating perspectives between the main character, Rosie, and a mystery narrator. The story proceeds in this fashion until midway through the book, when that person's identity is finally unveiled. I found this style to be a little confusing while listening to the audio, but while reading the story it made a perfect sense. It was a creative technique which I've not seen in any other novels I've read previously.
CHARACTERS AND PLOT As for the characters, they all seemed to have no reservations about lying to others. Rosie irritated me from the start since it was crystal clear many of her problems stemmed from not being upfront and truthful. This was most evident in her relationship with Andy. Then, later, when we meet Holly, I quickly grew annoyed with how she wasn't truthful either. At one moment she says, "The truth may hurt but lies - they're vicious, but yet, at the same time, she continues to keep so many things hidden from her family and especially her boyfriend, which is so hypocritical. Plus, Holly's vindictiveness towards Rosie seemed unwarranted. Her behavior mirrored more of what I would have expected from a three year old, than an eighteen year old woman.
The one character I held the utmost respect for was Jack. He was an incredible man, a fantastic father and the perfect husband. His willingness to be nonjudgmental and his ability to love unconditionally melted my heart. I'm so in awe, despite his young age, he still stepped up to the plate and cared for an infant daughter, all by himself! How many men do you know who would be actually willing to do something like that?
Overall, the men in this book seemed far more authentic, honest and likable than the woman. They all possessed compassion and big hearts. Each guy stood by their woman, through thick and thin, despite each woman being quite wishy-washy and dishonest, well with the exception of Jack's wife Megan. I found no faults what-so-ever in her character.
Plot would be considered both issue and character driven. With serious tones, it revolves around a young woman discovering after her mother's passing she was not her biological daughter. After this life altering revelation, she decides to go in search of her true heritage. What she finds is a whole lot more than she could have ever expected.
RECOMMENDATION I would recommend this book to readers who find reading about contemporary issues surrounding a deadly disease enjoyable. Those who thrive on reading about social conflicts, twists and hidden secrets will certainly be entertained. This is one of those books which girls will appreciate far more than guys. PERSONAL NOTE With a lot of mystery packed into the pages, right from the get go, I quickly began to feel the effects of all the twists and turns. If this had been a roller coaster ride, it would have caused me to toss my cookies. After about the fourth twist, all of which happen in the first third of the book, I began to question the feasibility of it all. It wasn't working for me. It felt like all the coincidences were teetering on becoming just too far-fetched for me to buy into. But, wait, the twists didn't stop there either, they just kept being thrown at me throughout the entire book. Believe it or not there was even a small twist at the conclusion.
Once I gave myself permission to just get over all the crazy, somewhat implausible twists, I eventually ended up becoming engrossed by the overall writing and storyline. But then, near the end of the book, I got side tracked again when the author began overusing the adjective "incredulously". Maybe it had something to do with all the lying going on, but whatever it the reason, it slowly began to get under my skin. My kindle statistics say the word "incredulously" was used twenty times in the entire story, increasing in frequency towards the conclusion. To give you a better idea, on my kindle, it roughly showed up every 120 locations, after location 2747 until the end of the book. The most continuous locations passed by without seeing this adjective was only 479, during this period. (No wonder why I noticed!)
In the end, I did end up being provided a decent amount of enjoyment out of reading the book. It did have a certain familiarity and read a bit like a Jodi Picoult novel.The author was able to provide closer for me at the end, but I sort of yearned for slightly different ending. If it had concluded the way I'd have chosen, it would have explained away some of the irritations I had about a certain character. The story is a standalone with a decent take home message about living life one day at a time and savor each moment.
RATING I'm going to have to deduct two rings for implausible plot and redundant word choice. These two items bothered me enough, it distracted me from some, but definitely not all, of my enjoyment of the story.
3.5 Rings (IT WAS OK OR - KEPT ME TURNING PAGES) ...more
I've been wanting to read Seraphina for a very long time, mainly because I like dragon books. When Netgalley recently offered Shadow Scale the sequelI've been wanting to read Seraphina for a very long time, mainly because I like dragon books. When Netgalley recently offered Shadow Scale the sequel as an E-Arc I decided the moment presented itself and I should go ahead and take the plunge. Seraphina, the main character covets a secret, she's a half breed, with a dragon mother and a human father. In this time, where dragons are the enemy and only a peace treaty keeps them from attacking humans, interbreeding is illegal. All of her life, Seraphina's father has kept her origin as secret, for fear of what her fate would be if anyone discovered her secrets. He's begged her to lay low and stay out of the public eye. But despite all these precautions, at the prince's funeral she is noticed after playing a beautiful moving, musical piece. The royal family asks her to become a music assistant. Against her father's wishes, she agrees. Things take off from here. The story is set in a fantasy world, in the distant past. Pacing is slow to moderate, picking up near the end where we encounter an involved battle scene. This book is told in a first person narrative in the voice of our brave heroine, Seraphina. In this book, there a so many characters to keep track of, not unlike most fantasies. So, I'm only going to touch on a very select few. Seraphina Dombegh, the main character, is a brave and heroic young lady. She spends her life trying not to be noticed, while at the same time hating herself for it. She is embarrassed of who she is, believing if anyone were to discover her secret she would be repulsed. With a musical talent, its difficult to fly under the radar. Plus, she's been schooled about dragon lore by both her Uncle and her father. So, its very difficult to not have a strong opinion. One thing Seraphina isn't very good at is holding her tongue. Her greatest strengths are her fearless nature and compassion for all creatures. Prince Lucian Kiggs, Captain of the Queen's guard is an intelligent, perceptive young man. He investigates anything puzzling to him and usually is able to work out people's thought processes. Also, by being a bastard, he is very sensitive to others. He becomes enchanted with Seraphina as they slowly become unexpected allies in uncovering who is behind the recent death of Prince Rufus, who's death is suspected to be at the hand of a dragon. Princess Glisselda, second in line to the thone, is a fifteen year old girl who Seraphina ends up giving music lessons too. Glisselda is wiser than her age and becomes a good friend and confidant to Seraphina. The caveat is she's engaged to Prince Kiggs. Of course there are many, many other characters. These three are very integral to the story. This story covers many years of Seraphina's life. Its primary focus is when she's in her later teens. It does touch on her birth and also details a scene where she first finds out she's a half breed. One very different part to this story is what Seraphina refers to as her "garden". Seraphina is plauged with visions. The only way she can control them is to reach out to the creatures who haunt her, which she refers to as "her grotesques" and find a spot for them to reside happily in her mind. This was a unique concept and is continued to be developed as the story progresses. It will also play a much larger part in the sequel. Romance is present in this story. Its more of a forbidden romance. There are not any love triangles which I could see forming. Throughout the book both the mystery of the Prince's death and the continued concern Seraphina's secret would be revealed kept me turning pages. As she and the Prince become closer, you keep hoping she will find a way tell him and of course that he will be able to accept her. The ending was action packed and very powerful. It involves an incredible life or death battle between two dragons. I felt the conclusion was solid with a definite resting point. This book sets the stage very nicely for the next book, where the heroine will need to accomplish new goals which will involve an exciting quest in the anticipated conclusion to the series. I would recommend this book to readers who like dragons and love fantasies. Also, those who like to read about strong female characters will also find a lot to like about this book....more
This was a tough book to rate for me its sort of inbetween three and four stars. I will have to think on it for my final review on the blog. It surpriThis was a tough book to rate for me its sort of inbetween three and four stars. I will have to think on it for my final review on the blog. It surprised me that it was a mixture of fairytale, contemporary and fantasy. I wasn't expecting the serious social issues: fat children, forgiving oneself, step families, loss/death etc. I thought it would be a little different. It also held an element of mystery. All together, a solid middle grade read I'm sure any young student would find fun to read.
Publisher: Flux (April 1, 2012) Length: 362 pages Format: E-ARC (kindle) Source: Netgalley.com Genre: YA, ParaRipper BY AMY CAROL REEVES
GOODREADS | AMAZON
Publisher: Flux (April 1, 2012) Length: 362 pages Format: E-ARC (kindle) Source: Netgalley.com Genre: YA, Paranormal, Psychological Thriller, Mystery Series: Stand Alone but potential for sequel Completed: May 2012 Challenges: 2012 YA DAC Challenge, 2012 E-book Challenge, 2012 Outdo Yourself Challenge,
When Arebella "Abbie" Sharp's mother unexpectedly passes away, she ends up in London, living with her affluent grandmother now as her custodial parent. Abbie wasn't raised as a proper young lady, in fact she's quite the opposite. Many times her antics have ended up embarrassing her wealthy grandmother. So, in order to give Abbie an appreciation for her fortunate position, her grandmother decides to have her work begin working at a community hospital serving underprivileged woman and children. Abbie enjoys her work more than anyone would have expected, finding she actually has a knack for patient care. Then, out of the blue, patients being discharged from the hospital start being brutally murdered. Strangely, Abbie seems to have some paranormal connection to the killer. Now she is being sucked into something more dark and dangerous then either she or her grandmother could ever have bargained for. How will she be successful in leading the police to The Ripper without becoming his next victim?
From Goodreads: "Amy Carol Reeves has a PhD in nineteenth-century British literature. She published a few academic articles before deciding that it would be much more fun to write about Jack the Ripper. When she is not writing or teaching college classes, she enjoys running around her neighborhood with her giant Labrador Retriever and serial reading Jane Austen novels. She lives in Columbia, South Carolina with her husband and two children. Ripper is her debut novel."
SETTING PACE AND STYLE
With a captivating setting, 18th century, Kensington, London, we follow Abby as she lives her life under the watchful eye of her affluent grandmother. From the opening chase scene until the last page, Ripper is enrapturing. Its a moderate to fast paced thriller. Reeves is a great story teller, who coveys the time period by adding just enough descriptive language and well constructed dialogues with true to the times word choices giving a realistic feeling of the historical 18th setting. Predominately, somber and dark, Ripper has the perfect mix of mystery, high society circle socialization, and romance, the grim mood never encroaches on becoming overbearing. The book is told in first person by the female protagonist Arabella Sharp or "Abbie".
CHARACTERS AND PLOT
Instantly, I felt drawn to Abbie. I admired her spirit, quick thinking and her troubleshooting skills. She stands up for herself and for what is right. I appreciated how she didn't let the men walk all over her and her ambitions to become a physician in an all male world. She compassionate, caring and fierce. When she lived with her mother she was allowed to do a lot of male dominated activities, so I'd consider her a tomboy as well. Overall, these characteristics combined to form a strong heroine. However, she's not without a few flaws. Her recklessness lead her into either bad decision making or bad situations time and time again throughout the novel. It also made her feel real.
Abbie's grandmother, though very overprotective, annoying and controlling, is still a very doting parent. Its evident she cares deeply for Abbie. Secretly, she fears by being too restrictive she may push Abbie away, just like she did with her own daughter. As a result, she makes a valiant effort to grant Abby some leniency in what she likes to do outside of the home.
Dr Simon St John and Dr William Siddall are both potential love interests for Abbie. Simon is calm and level headed, with William is more irrational and wild. Both seem to have feelings for Abbie, looking out for her and keeping her under their protective grips whenever possible.
RECOMMENDATION If you like strong female leads in a historical setting should pick this one up. Not for the weak at heart or readers who get squeamish about gory medical details. Those seeking something a little different who enjoy historical fantasy and psychological thrillers will love this one. Readers who enjoy a London and Scotland Yard setting will also find this one intriguing.
This one really took me by total surprise. Its historical fiction meets psychological thriller coming together to form a mind blowing mystery with just a twist of paranormal elements tossed in. This is somewhat of a hidden gem. Even though this story is loosely based on the re-telling of Jack-the-Ripper, I might consider it more of a psychological medical thriller. The mystery is slowly developed throughout the book. It managed to keep me guessing the entire story, who the Ripper may be. Even though my suspicions proved to be correct, I didn't feel the story was predictable.
Those with a light heart and queasy stomach beware. The murders in this book are brutal, harsh and disgusting. The killer dissects victims, cannibalizes and commits other gut wrenching, unspeakable acts against his own race. Jack the Ripper was a vicious serial killer. I felt a slight connection with Silence of the Lambs and this book, totally creepy!
The ending was perfect. It wrapped up nicely, still leaving the potential lurking for a sequel. To me, this is the best kind of ending, one where you can't wait to get your hands on another book, but at the same time you never felt cheated after reading the first book. I hope there is a sequel and if there is I won't mind standing in line to get my copy if I had to!
Can't find any reason to deduct any rings from this one. I award it my highest rating.
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