I borrowed this book from the library because I'd been hearing some really good things about it on Twitter. As soon as I started, I was hooked!
Ebony MI borrowed this book from the library because I'd been hearing some really good things about it on Twitter. As soon as I started, I was hooked!
Ebony Marshall lives in a small town called Dainsfield. Most people call her Black. Oh, and she's not exactly popular because most of her friends end up dying. So people say she's cursed, and she stays away from friendships. When someone actually asks her to the formal and he ends up in the hospital, even she starts to wonder if she is.
But at the heart of her 'curse' are some shady figures who will do whatever it takes to make sure that Black's possessed status is brought to an end. No matter what.
Like I said above, I was instantly hooked. I loved Black's voice, attitude and plight. The more I got to know her, the more I liked her and hoped that she would make it out of the horrible ordeal unscathed.
The writing is nice, the story great, and the characters interesting. I enjoyed this book. A lot. The only thing I didn't enjoy were the last three chapters. They felt a bit rushed, almost like they didn't fit with the rest of the book. I don't know what it was, but they threw me out of a narrative that I'd been totally engrossed by until Chapter Twenty-Six.
I know that sounds weird, but it's just a shame because other than that, I really enjoyed Black's story. :)
Midnight is a veI really enjoyed Midnight Crossroad and Day Shift, so I was super excited about reading the final book in the Midnight, Texas trilogy.
Midnight is a very small town located in Texas. The residents aren't like other people. They're all used to seeing strange things, supernatural creatures and even weirder situations. However, when seemingly random people start showing up in Midnight to buy weapons from the local pawnshop or 'witchy' store and kill themselves at the crossroads, even they realise something awful is on the horizon.
The local vampire, Lemuel is convinced something evil lurks beneath the crossroads and he's got an ancient text that might just reveal the information needed. But it's in an obscure language he doesn't fully understand, and the translation is slow. Finding another vampire able to do the task faster sounds like a great idea, but is filled with more danger than expected.
Meanwhile, his partner Olivia is dealing with past demons that refuse to leave her alone. Bobo is unintentionally ruining a good friendship and the possibility of love. Manfred somehow becomes the designated resident trying to stop the suicides. Diederik is now a young man eager to learn more about his heritage. His father Quinn has returned to Midnight and has his eye on someone local. Joe and Chuy are still helpful and ready to protect when needed. The Rev is, well, the Rev. The Reed family is under suspicion. And there's a new resident working the Gas N Go. A mysterious man who might just have some of the answers they need to defeat an evil threat.
And Fiji? She's got a lot on her plate. Dealing with her estranged and deadbeat sister, trying to accept that Bobo is never going to see her as more than a friend, using her magic whenever needed, and hearing a voice whispering inside her head. Being a witch puts her in the middle of what's happening to Midnight, and she might be the one who has to sacrifice the most in order to stop whatever is trying to surface...
I loved this book! I loved this trilogy! It was fun and full of mystery, intrigue and danger. The way supernatural creatures are sprinkled into an otherwise mundane town works very well in the Midnight, Texas trilogy. And of course, I always get a kick out of the array of characters taken from the Sookie Stackhouse, Aurora Teagarden Mystery, Harper Connelly and Lily Bard Mystery series. It's awesome to see how well they all fit together and with the new characters.
Night Shift is a very satisfying end to a wonderful trilogy. It's full of secrets and a mystery that reveals a very unexpected dark threat. There's something really simple--yet magical--about the way Charlaine Harris tells a story. Everyone seems so ordinary and appear to lead such average lives, but as the story moves along, they all break out and shine in their own way. I've always loved that about her writing.
I'm happy with this trilogy, but also sad to see it end. BUT, I especially can't wait to see what's next for this awesome author. :)...more
Ivy Pocket is a very resourceful twelve-year-old orphan who has odd remedies for just about every ailment. She's also the keeper of the Clock Diamond, which means she can see past, present and future visions. Plus she just found out she can also travel into another world. She has a sharp tongue, is very clever but can sometimes be quite clueless about what's right in front of her.
Oh, and she's now got parents.
The Snagsby couple make coffins for a living and have a pretty modest business. Although Ivy is expected to clean around the house, read somber poems to those on their deathbeds and her bedroom door is locked at night, she's still very happy to finally be part of a family. She's always keen to help, but manages to get distracted by other things.
When a woman approaches her and starts asking questions about her missing brother, Ivy starts digging around and finds a lot more than she bargained for. Because the Snagsby couple are at the centre of a pretty big secret, something that leads back to Ivy. Of course, when it comes to Ivy Pocket, there are always other problems at hand and now she's got a friend to rescue, some bizarre texts to learn from, a familiar pesky ghost to deal with, and another even more dangerous woman to dodge.
Can Ivy make it out unscathed, or will she be forced to accept that she can't always save the day?
OMG. This story is awesome! I was hooked as soon as I started. Seeing Ivy settled into a family was a lovely surprise that slowly soured when the secrets start to rise to the surface. The Snagsbys aren't very nice people and certainly take Ivy for granted. No matter what they do they can't outsmart her, which can be very frustrating for them and very entertaining for us.
Where in the first book her constant insults were often cringe-worthy, I loved them this time around. :)
Just like the first book, the strong female presence is very impressive. There are so many amazing, interesting women and girls. The level of cunning and manipulation featured in these female characters is balanced out by the generous and cleverness of others.
Somebody Stop Ivy Pocket is a charming and super fun book! It's zany and packed with so many intriguing mysteries that I didn't want to put it down. The comical dialogue, hilarious antics and Ivy's fibs kept me amused and laughing out loud throughout, but the story also takes some pretty dark and dangerous turns. A lot of new and old characters collide in this book, and most of them are greedy manipulators who want to take advantage of our brave heroine. Luckily, our Ivy Pocket doesn't scare easy and can pretty much get herself out of anything.
The illustrations add to the story. I love the cute, bright cover. And the book is just so darn pretty. Yep. I loved everything about it.
I honestly didn't think I could love the next installment more than the first, but I did!
Bring on the next Ivy Pocket adventure because after that ending, I seriously can't wait to see what happens next. ...more
I've wanted to read this book for a while, so when my local library finally got it (thanks to my daughter) I couldn't wait to read it.
During the monthI've wanted to read this book for a while, so when my local library finally got it (thanks to my daughter) I couldn't wait to read it.
During the month of October, Cara's family goes through what they call the accident season. For years the whole family has suffered through accidents, deaths and tragedy around this time of the year. And this year is no different.
Actually, the only difference now is that Cara has started asking questions about their misfortunes. After she notices that her old friend Elsie has disappeared but seems to show up in all of her photos, she can't help but wonder what happened to her. She used to see her at school all the time and all of a sudden no one even knows what grade Elsie is in.
So with the help of her older sister Alice, her ex-stepbrother Sam and her best friend Bea, they try to figure out where/who she is. But during the accident season, bruises and broken bones get in the way, and make everything harder.
Not to mention the secrets rising to the surface. Or the feelings Cara can no longer deny...
Wow. This book was awesome! I loved the creepy vibe and the secrets. Plus the concept was intriguing and hooked me instantly. There's also a magical, ghostly vibe to this story that's very well weaved in. Oh, and the four main characters were so nice, but messed up. I loved the closeness of the siblings and how they're all such close friends.
This is such a creepy, fantastical tale. I absolutely loved it!...more
As you probably already know, the Stephanie Plum series is one of my favourites. I absolutely love catching up with Steph, Lula, Grandma Mazur, MorellAs you probably already know, the Stephanie Plum series is one of my favourites. I absolutely love catching up with Steph, Lula, Grandma Mazur, Morelli, Ranger and all the other awesome characters in Trenton.
So I was looking forward to getting stuck into it...
Stephanie isn't having a good day, and it gets worse when Morelli dumps her. Apparently, between being a cop and her constant calamity it's causing him some serious stomach problems and he needs some time to figure things out. At least she's got Ranger to fall back on. He's got a security job lined up for her, she's always got a constant bunch of FTAs to chase around, and there's also her friends and family.
Now Stephanie and Lula are on the case to find a missing frat boy because he beat up the dean at Kiltman College. But there's a lot more going on and they find themselves caught up with the crazy Zeta fraternity, a situation that might be linked to the current murders of two men, and an eccentric biologist who might be creating diseased fleas he intends to use against the college.
With so much going on--and Morelli showing up all the time--Stephanie starts to wonder if maybe she should give up the bounty hunter life and start looking for another job...
Tricky Twenty-Two is a super fun, fast read and a great addition to this awesome series! I love how Janet Evanovich effortlessly weaves a tale of intrigue, hilarity and danger while presenting a murder mystery that keeps the reader guessing. No matter what happens to Stephanie, she's got a knack for bouncing back and in this book she shows just how strong she can really be. She might need more help than most, but sometimes she can save herself just fine.
I loved this book and laughed out loud so many times.
You know, I'd been looking forward to reading this book because I'd heard so many good things about it. But from the moment I started--although I enjoYou know, I'd been looking forward to reading this book because I'd heard so many good things about it. But from the moment I started--although I enjoyed what I was reading--I just wasn't hooked.
The more I read, the more distanced I became from the story and characters. Not to mention that the whole upper-crust society thing and the horrid way women were treated just got under my skin. I know it's a fact of history that women were treated like trophy breeders if they were rich and slaves if they weren't, but I couldn't read more about it without grinding my teeth.
Not to mention that I didn't really find the story very compelling. At all. Plus, I figured out the killer very early on.
In the end, I ended up skimming most of it and wasn't that impressed by what I gleaned.
Not going to bother rating this one because it's a DNF for me. :/...more
I was looking for a super creepy, freaky, spooky story with a clever storyline... and I definitely found it in this fantastic book.
SevenWow. Wow. Wow!
I was looking for a super creepy, freaky, spooky story with a clever storyline... and I definitely found it in this fantastic book.
Seven kids enter an essay competition and win a weekend trip to meet a horror film director most of them idolise. But strange stuff starts to happen right away because one of the winners goes missing before the others even get a chance to meet her.
But when they enter the creepy abandoned amusement park, where they'll be forced to face their individual nightmares, everything falls apart.
OMG. I absolutely LOVED this book! The story, the way it's written, the twists and turns, the horror kudos--all of it. I picked it up this afternoon and finished it only hours later. It totally hooked me in and kept me turning the page until I reached the end.
At first I was concerned about the multiple POVs because it included so many--Ivy, Parker, Shayla, Natalie, Frankie & Garth--but it TOTALLY worked. Every voice was different. Each added to the story in its own way. And I got to know every character deeply enough to get attached to them. :(
Though I particularly liked Ivy and Parker.
I also thought that adding everyone's competition entry/essay in the epilogue was genius.
This is another book that I borrowed from the library and really enjoyed.
When the most popular boy in school invites Kate to spend the summer with hisThis is another book that I borrowed from the library and really enjoyed.
When the most popular boy in school invites Kate to spend the summer with his friends at the castle he recently inherited, she's ecstatic. However, it doesn't take her long to realise that Leo is a jerk and Darkmere is a creepy castle with countless of stories about curses and ghosts.
In between Kate's chapters, we get to read the POV of Elinor. A young woman who marries the man who owned the castle 200 hundred years before. Her life is one of misery and heartache, and everything about Darkmere is soon revealed.
I loved that the shared POVs worked so well together as the events of the present are slowly realised from what happened in the past.
This turned out to be a creepy read with several spooky scenes that kept the dark atmospheric tension alive all the way through. The story was unpredictable, addictive and kept me guessing.
Today I finished proofreading one of my upcoming books and wanted to reward myself with an interesting short read. And this story definitely turned ouToday I finished proofreading one of my upcoming books and wanted to reward myself with an interesting short read. And this story definitely turned out to be a treat.
I mean, check this out:
It was half past eleven when I saw her. She was standing at the top of the staircase, with restless fingers and defiant eyes, wrapped in blue silk that clung to her hips.
How can you not be intrigued by this? :)
Jimmy Prince is a PI who lives in Spindle City and has a teenage assistant. When he meets an alluring woman called Ella at the Prince family gala, and then finds her bloody glass slipper, he gets caught up in a mystery that is bound to get him into deep trouble. Which seems to be something he's really good at.
Absolutely loved this story! It's such a clever noir mystery set in a city full of fairy tale characters. But they're not what you're used to. This is a place full of strong, murderous women and intriguing people. Not to mention the story! And the writing! Loved everything about it.
I was originally going to hide this review because of spoilers, but I decided not to because Liz's condition becomes apparent in Chapter One. So, therI was originally going to hide this review because of spoilers, but I decided not to because Liz's condition becomes apparent in Chapter One. So, there you go. ;)
This is a book that I've had on my Kindle for a while and have been itching to read. I also love that cover. It's creepy, mysterious, but pretty. So, I decided to check it out the other day and as soon as I read the first chapter, I was hooked.
Liz wakes up on her father's boat the morning after her 18th birthday party because she hears a noise outside. All of her friends are still sleeping, which isn't surprising. They all got drunk and high the night before. When she goes outside to investigate, she finds herself in the water. Drowned. Dead. And she can't understand what happened to her. Then a boy from her school who died a year ago appears beside her.
Alex is a nobody, and was killed during a hit-and-run when he was going home after work. They never found who was responsible, but his family hasn't given up hope. Now Liz is stuck with him. The grumpy kid who doesn't like or respect her. He doesn't like her friends, or the obnoxious way they tried to run the school. He hated them because they were mean. And he wasn't wrong.
As Liz starts remembering important memories that will eventually reveal what happened that fateful night, she slowly starts to realise that she was an awful person. A mean, self-centered brat who treated everyone like crap and thought very highly of herself. But all of that was a mask to hide the truth. Liz was haunted by the loss of her mother at a young age and the rumors that have circled her family for years. The only way she knew how to deal with it was by being awful, and by running. She loved to run. But when something she couldn't deal with happened, she ended up almost running herself to death.
And when she finds out exactly what happened to both Alex, and then a year later, to her... she won't believe it. Yet won't be able to deny it.
As I mentioned above, I LOVED the first chapter. But then when Liz meets Alex and we get to find out what she's like, I started to wonder if I wanted to continue. But I did, because I knew that this story contained a whole bunch of secrets that would be worth it, and two mysteries that I had to uncover. I did work out both of them before they were revealed, but it didn't take away from experiencing her story through her eyes.
Liz's transformation is amazing, and definitely worth reading every intriguing word of this book. This book explores a lot of very heavy stuff that will always remain relevant in life and storytelling. The depth of the narration and character is quite amazing.
In the end, I loved this totally messed-up family drama that explores just how far some people are willing to go to get what they want, and destroy what they covet....more
I really enjoyed the first two books in the Cainsville series, so I was looking forward to finding out what was going to happen next.
Olivia Taylor-JoI really enjoyed the first two books in the Cainsville series, so I was looking forward to finding out what was going to happen next.
Olivia Taylor-Jones has been through a lot of weird stuff since she found out she wasn't the biological daughter of the privileged Chicago family who raised her. Her parents are actually convicted serial killers, and are both in prison. But that's not all that's turned her life upside down. She can see omens, and has recently started to have visions which are taking a huge toll on her sanity and body. Yet, these are visions that she must allow to happen if she wants to find out the truth about Cainsville, her heritage, and if the Larsens really did commit the horrible crimes they were imprisoned for.
That's made harder by the fact that there are mysterious, dark forces at play. Creatures from the old world who are playing games and/or causing chaos in her life, and in the lives of the people she cares about. Not to mention that her ex-fiancé has become a seriously creepy stalker, and that her friendship with Gabriel seems to go through so many ups and downs she's not sure if they're okay half the time.
At least she's got Ricky. The biker and all-round nice guy who is fun, attentive and respectful. The one person who is not involved in all the craziness in her world and can make her forget about everything. Until she finds out that he's also involved in the sequence of events two different sides of the fae coin are trying to play out.
This book was just as good as the two before it. Not only does it delve even deeper in the fae side of things so that we start to understand exactly who Olivia is and why the fae want things to happen a certain way, but we also get to find out a lot of truths. Of course, there are a bunch of deceptions laid out along the way, and some even threaten to drive Olivia insane. But what I really liked was that her visions have led to a place of understanding, so she can finally realise how important both Gabriel and Ricky are to her.
Plus we finally get to find out the truth about her biological parents. Yikes! Didn't see that coming.
Deceptions is another intriguing instalment in this thrilling series. I love how easily Kelley Armstrong is able to hook me into her stories and keep me glued there until bits and pieces of the bigger picture are slowly revealed. She's also created a fascinating trio with a very interesting angle. And I particularly love how she mixed so much myth, folklore and preternatural elements into an excellent thriller.
The only thing I missed was Cainsville and its mysterious residents, which did make an appearance but were mostly in the background this time around.
Still, I'm definitely looking forward to finding out more. ...more
The Stephanie Plum series is one of my faves and I enjoyed the firsttwo books in this series, so I was looking forward to getting stuck into this oneThe Stephanie Plum series is one of my faves and I enjoyed the firsttwo books in this series, so I was looking forward to getting stuck into this one.
Lizzy lives in Marblehead Harbor in Massachusetts, and works in the successful Dazzle's Bakery in Salem. She makes some awesome and very delicious treats--her cupcakes are especially good. But that's not all she does, she also has a bizarre and special talent. She can find some very powerful Stones that relate to the seven deadly sins.
With the sexy Diesel by her side, she's trying to locate these stones before Wulf does. The man is Diesel's cousin, looks like an alluring vampire, and is usually trying to beat them to the stones. But this time, the trio might have to work together because when Lizzy discovers an old skeleton in the local Pirate Museum, it turns out that it might lead to the latest stone.
What follows is an insane adventure filled with havoc, deaths, kidnapping, a pirate's booty, betrayal, underground tunnels, the sought-after stone that inspires lunacy in so many, more death, and a very rich man who believes he is destined to become the demon of Avarice, Mammon. Problem is, this man has also offered Lizzy a publishing contract for the cookbook she's been trying to sell.
Throw in a little sizzling chemistry between Diesel and Lizzy, and it's a sure recipe for destruction.
Wicked Charms is a fun new instalment in this series. It started out well enough, and even drew a few laughs out of me, but there was something missing. Let's just say that it felt like there were a few missing ingredients from Lizzy and Diesel's adventure. I unfortunately think that it's starting to lose some of its charm. :/
There was just something about this book that kept me from enjoying it as much as I enjoyed the others. Also, why did they change the covers? They were so pretty before. This one is very bland and doesn't represent anything that happens in the book....more
I love mysteries. I'm a sucker for a thriller. I also love stories hiding a deep, dark secret. Small town creepy stories intrigue me. And of course, II love mysteries. I'm a sucker for a thriller. I also love stories hiding a deep, dark secret. Small town creepy stories intrigue me. And of course, I love dystopians.
So, this book really spoke to me!
Ethan Burke is a Secret Service agent sent to Wayward Pines so he can investigate the disappearance of two other agents. But when he gets there, he's involved in a serious car accident that totally rattles his brain. Now he suffers from bad headaches, can't get his hands on his ID, and he might be going crazy. No matter how hard he tries, he just can't seem to get in touch with anyone outside of this town.
Everyone seems so nice, eager to help, but the more questions he asks, the more he realises there's something really rotten about Wayward Pines. And when he eventually finds out what it is, Ethan's perception of life will never be the same.
OMG. This book turned out to be quite the hellish ride. And I mean that in the best way possible. It's odd, disorienting, creepy, spooky, tense, and keeps you guessing until the big reveal. And boy was it an awesome reveal!
I also felt bad for Ethan because he went through SO much physical, mental, and emotional punishment in his quest to escape Wayward Pines.
I seriously loved this book!
The author mentioned that he'd set out to write a story in the vain of Twin Peaks, and I think he went above and beyond. I was a huge fan of that show, so you can trust me on that. ;)
I also think it's awesome that the book inspired by a TV show ended up being a show too. I'm really interested in checking it out now. Plus I want to read the next book!...more
I love reading a good thriller. So when Hachette offered to send a few Domestic Noir books my way, I was really looking forward to getting stuck intoI love reading a good thriller. So when Hachette offered to send a few Domestic Noir books my way, I was really looking forward to getting stuck into them. Unfortunately, the first one I tried didn't work for me, but this one certainly did!
Peg is a quiet library assistant who doesn't cause any friction. She's been seeing her girlfriend, Loz, for a year now, and they've been living together for a while. They have a good relationship, and although they are very different--Loz is outspoken, stubborn, ambitious and determined--they're crazy about each other. But everything gets threatened the day Peg decides she wants to know more about her childhood.
She's never bothered to contact her absent father, although she has tried to track him down. The women who raised her--her grandmother Doll and aunty Jean--don't like to talk about the past. But after a brief and very uncomfortable visit to Spain to visit her father, Peg starts to remember things. She's writing memories down in her journal (or as her Nan called it, a Commonplace Book) and is starting to fill in some of the gaps missing from the time she was a kid.
However, chasing these revelations leads her down a very dangerous road that will not only reveal a bunch of awful truths she tried so hard to forget, but might end up putting both her and Loz in the path of a killer. Not to mention that the missing memories might also provide the answers to several unsolved crimes...
Yikes! This book is one super heavy and involved read. It totally hooked me into Peg's world and kept me there every step of the way. I have to admit that she was a little frustrating sometimes because she was indecisive and totally in the clutches of her dysfunctional family, but the personal growth she goes through as each new layer of the mystery she's chasing is revealed really impacts the reader. I also really liked Loz. She was fun and witty, kept Peg on her toes, wasn't afraid to say what she thought, and was determined to chase the truth. Her obsession with true crime was also a nice addition, as she finds herself in the middle of one. O.o
Tarnished is a well written, addictive story with a very twisted core. It's one woman's search for the truth years after she's forgotten it. A way for her to fill in the blanks, to reconnect with her father, and understand what really happened to her mother. While slowly discovering that everything she thinks she knows about her family is a lie. And everyone she thought she knew lied and controlled her for their own sick purpose. It's a powerful book. A page turner.
I'm a sucker for a screwed-up mystery with a good dose of family secrets on the side, so I really (really) enjoyed this book!
As you probably already know, I'm a big Charlaine Harris fan, so I was very excited when I received the second book in the Midnight Texas series lastAs you probably already know, I'm a big Charlaine Harris fan, so I was very excited when I received the second book in the Midnight Texas series last week.
Midnight is a small place located in Texas. The residents of this town like the fact that it's out of the way because they all have their personal reasons for keeping a low profile. Now, the formerly rundown hotel has been renovated and a small group of people have moved in.
As concerned as they are about this fact, that's the least of their problems.
Manfred Bernardo hasn't been in Midnight for long but he really likes it. He's gotten to know everyone and has assimilated into the tight-knit group well. Besides, it's the perfect location for him to conduct his psychic business. When he decides to spend a weekend in a flashy hotel in Dallas so that he can administer some private readings, all is going well.
Until one of his clients dies suddenly during the reading.
He's now answering questions for the detectives and a bunch of reporters follow him to Midnight after Rachel Goldthorpe's crazy son accuses him of stealing his mother's jewellery. This sets Manfred into a tailspin because he has to spend a lot of money on a lawyer, while he's under suspicion.
The worst thing is the attention this problem is bringing to Midnight.
Manfred isn't the only one who wants to be left alone. The mysterious Rev has a special guest staying with him--a kid who seems to grow on a daily basis--and it's important to keep him off the radar. Diederik was dropped off by his father for a reason, so the Rev enlists Olivia to solve the mystery of what's really going on with the Goldthorpe family. Agreeing to help reveals some of Olivia's secrets, and it looks like someone from her past has just caught up with her.
As the community sticks together to overcome all of these obstacles, we slowly catch a glimpse into each of the residents' secrets. Joe and Chuy appear be a happy, friendly couple who run an antiques store/nail salon, but they are a whole lot more. Fiji is a witch and is always ready to help whoever she can. Whether it's with a spell, some of her delicious cookies, or by helping the young boy who is growing at an alarming rate. Not to mention that her cat is a bit of a smart mouth
This time there are two mysteries to solve. One revolves around Manfred's legal issues and his need to clear his name so that it doesn't affect his reputation. The other is the intriguing fast-growing kid that they're all curious about, yet are determined to help. Just like the first book, the characters are all interesting and keep you glued to each page. The intimate multiple POVs slowly reveal some of the secrets that these characters are keeping, but not all of them.
You know what I love about this series? I'm getting a kick out of connecting the appearance of characters from some of her other series. Manfred is from the Harper Connelly series. Bobo is from the Lily Bard Mystery series. Arthur Smith is from the Aurora Teagarden Mystery series. There are several creatures that are also in the Sookie Stackhouse series, and even several cameos by actual characters from Sookie's world. I loved one particular character, because he was one of my favourites.
Day Shift is another awesome Charlaine Harris book that hooked me in from the beginning. I loved it! I'm enjoying the development of these wonderful characters and finding out how they fit into the much larger world. Also, I think there's something weird going on in that renovated hotel, and I'm looking forward to finding out more.
Can't wait to join the residents of Midnight on more adventures....more
I received this gem from Bloomsbury Australia a few weeks ago, and finally picked it up on Friday night to get a feel for the story. Before I realisedI received this gem from Bloomsbury Australia a few weeks ago, and finally picked it up on Friday night to get a feel for the story. Before I realised it, I'd already read 70 pages. It totally hooked me in!
Ivy Pocket is twelve, and she's a lady's maid. According to her she's very capable, has many talents, can conjure up a remedy for just about anything, and has been bestowed with a series of spectacular gifts. But others have a different opinion. So much so that Countess Carbunkle dumps her in Paris with only a note and not much else. So Ivy finds herself alone, without any money, and in need of a place to stay.
That's when she decides to get a job in the hotel. She's denied employment, but a bellboy seeks her out.
It turns out that the Duchess of Trinity is dying and wants to speak to Ivy. She has a very special job for her. One that entails the safe delivery of a precious necklace called the Clock Diamond. The Duchess gives her very precise instructions about getting the necklace to England, as well as when to give it to the recipient.
This is a very important gift with a very special message. If Ivy does this, she will receive £500 and will be able to start fresh and live her own life. So of course she accepts.
As soon as she sets sail from Paris to London, strange things start to happen. At least she manages to make a friend. Miss Always is a peculiar writer and spinster who seems to be just about everywhere Ivy turns--something she finds endearing.
However, when Ivy breaks one of the rules and tries on the necklace, strange things start to happen. All of a sudden she can see things inside the diamond, such as events from her past. She starts having a desperate need to be around the necklace, plus feels very protective of it, and finds the perfect hiding spot as soon as she reaches Butterfield Park.
Unfortunately, she also manages to capture the attention of ghosts and cloaked dwarves. Not to mention the suspicious governess. Ivy soon realises that she's caught up in something even her awesome wits might not be able to handle...
I didn't know anything about this book when I picked it up, and when I started reading and met Ivy, I have to admit that I was a little sceptical. I mean, she was so delusional and quite frankly sounded like the infuriating person everyone in the book seems to think she was. She insults just about anyone and can't keep her opinions to herself. But something soon started to happen. I found myself getting lost in the story, and was totally captivated by the narration.
Ivy Pocket might not appear to be the most reliable character, but if you ignore her constant bragging and see beyond the words, you really get to know her.
She tries to make herself out to be larger than life and capable of just about any challenge, but she's a lot more than that. She's a young girl who was left in an orphanage at a young age and has since tried to find somewhere to belong. She's longed for real parents so much that she makes up a different marvellous story about them each time. Ivy's really a lost child who dreams of having loving parents.
Another thing that I loved about this book was the female presence. Although it's set in a time when women might have struggled to be properly heard, this story is filled with amazing woman and girls. Some stronger than others and with differing levels of annoyance and cunning, but they all add a little spice to Ivy's tale.
Anyone But Ivy Pocket turned out to be a charming and very quirky surprise. Not only is the narrator awesome, but so are the other zany characters. I got swept up in the glorious story about a seemingly average girl who turns out to be quite amazing. Ivy Pocket can be infuriating, is filled with self-importance and delusions, but she sure is smart. She's a strong and very resourceful heroine. She also takes readers on one hell of a fun, hilarious, and dangerous ride into a wondrous world filled with clocks, murderous villains, secrets and ghosts.
I loved this, and had such a great time reading it! I can't wait to read more about Ivy Pocket....more
I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this book--thank you Hachette!--and couldn't wait to read it because the premise sounded so intriguing. I knewI was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this book--thank you Hachette!--and couldn't wait to read it because the premise sounded so intriguing. I knew that the story of these two sisters would be twisted in some way, and I wasn't wrong.
Nick and Dara have always been close. Two sisters who did everything together. Along with their neighbour, Parker, the two girls enjoyed many childhood adventures together. But they haven't been on such good terms lately.
Dara is a problem child always sneaking out and getting into trouble. While Nick is the good girl, who spends a lot of time covering for her sister.
When Nick returns home from her father's place, shortly after a horrible car accident that caused some pretty serious injuries to Dara, her younger sister doesn't exactly welcome her home with open arms. But Nick is determined to reconnect.
The truth is, things haven't been the same between them for a while. Even before the accident, a boy managed to come between them.
The sisters might now be under the same roof, but Dara keeps avoiding Nick. But that's okay because Nick is busy working at a local amusement park and reconnecting with Parker. Besides, Dara's birthday is coming up and she won't be able to avoid their annual family birthday dinner.
But then Dara doesn't turn up to dinner, and Nick becomes convinced that the disappearance of a little girl is somehow linked to her sister and goes on a wild goose chase. What she didn't realise was that she would find a deep secret Dara was concealing from everyone.
Or that Nick's life isn't as straightforward as she thought.
This is an amazing story with several twists. I have to admit that I worked out one, but it didn't ruin anything for me. The story is told in the alternating POVs of Nick and Dara. It's also told in different times, jumping from Before and After (the accident), which is done so well the technique enhances the story. And sometimes, I felt like the reader was supposed to be a few steps ahead of Nick and Dara.
But I can't say too much more. This is one of those books where you're better off not knowing much about it. And spoilers are too easily revealed if I say any more. So I won't. ;)
Vanishing Girls is an addictive, surreal, tense story that hooked me in so deeply I wanted to follow Nick every step of the way, until she got all the answers. Lauren Oliver's writing style is lovely, and her stories compelling. I also liked how the events unfolded naturally.
I loved every minute of this book. It's awesome. Actually, it's hard to express just how awesome without giving anything away....more