This is a book that was just okay for me. It was good, I enjoyed it, but I can't sit here and tell you that it was the greatest thing ever and you sho...moreThis is a book that was just okay for me. It was good, I enjoyed it, but I can't sit here and tell you that it was the greatest thing ever and you should run right out and buy it. I'd be lying. And well, what good would that do anyone?
Let me start off by saying that it wasn't at all what I expected but that has nothing to do with my lack of enthusiasm. I wasn't familiar with the author's previous work and based on the synopsis I went in thinking this was going to be a straight-up mystery, which excited me to no end, but it ended up going paranormal on me. This isn't a bad thing, it just wasn't what I thought I was reading.
That said, there are a lot of things I liked about this book. For one, the paranormal concept is unique to an over-saturated genre. I'll give it credit even though I wish it had been billed that way. Second, while a few sections here and there were slow, for the most part it was fast paced and kept me guessing, thus flipping pages.
And then there's Keri. The story is told in alternating point of view of the three main characters, but I found myself drawn more to Keri than the others. Like me, she plans for every possible event/outcome and I really came to like her despite the fact that the story wasn't working for me.
Still, I failed to truly connect with the story. It lacked a certain something. That intangible that makes me want to attack strangers on the streets and force a copy of a book I love into their hands. However, I would certainly recommend reading it and giving it a chance. It's something different and if you're looking for something a little dark or a little unique, this book could definitely be for you. (less)
Okay, since this was a DNF this review will be short. I'm simply going to state my reasons for not completing the book.
1) There was too much head-hopping. This book randomly switched perspective in the middle of scenes. In the very first chapter it went from the killer's point of view to the cat's. And it didn't stop there. I'd be following along with Danny and then all of a sudden be inside his stepfather's or his mother's head. It was hard to follow and kept me from really connecting with ANY of the characters.
2) Characters were flat. I got a hundred pages in and I still had no sense of who the characters were, nor did I care what happened to them.
3) Dialogue was unrealistic. For me, this book just never really captured the YA voice. The dialogue and Danny's internal thoughts seemed more like those of an adult.
Overall, the book just wasn't for me. I know some people have raved about it, but I can't recommend it. (less)
This one gets 4 stars for the simple fact that I began reading it right before bedtime and stayed up until after 2am to finish. I really should start...moreThis one gets 4 stars for the simple fact that I began reading it right before bedtime and stayed up until after 2am to finish. I really should start rating books based upon how many hours of my precious sleep time I'm willing to sacrifice.
The Poisoned House, had me turning pages into the wee hours of the morning because even though there were enough clues for me to figure out who was responsible, I couldn't for the life of me figure out why. And to be honest, I didn't want it to be true so I kept hoping I was wrong.
Still, I have to admit that this one is hard to review because it's not like there was anything about it that was over-the-top ah-Maaaz-ing. It's a simple ghost story. But I loved the fact that I wasn't overburdened with a complex plot, a large cast of characters, or an author trying to change my view of the world. It was just pure, fun, entertainment.
It's fast-paced with a very likeable main character. Abi was endearing-if a little naive-and I couldn't help but find myself invested in her story. The setting is creepy with a few chilling moments where Abi encounters the ghost. Nothing too overtly scary, although there is a particularly disturbing incident involving kittens.
The ending felt a little rushed, but it wrapped everything up nicely. Overall, it was a very enjoyable read that I would recommend to anyone in the mood for a good ghost story.(less)
This one gets a solid 4 out of 5 stars for the writing style alone. I was so envious of Kephart's skill the entire time I was reading that I almost wa...moreThis one gets a solid 4 out of 5 stars for the writing style alone. I was so envious of Kephart's skill the entire time I was reading that I almost wanted to put it away and spare my ego, but I couldn't. It's too darn good.
It wasn't the emotional tear-jerker I was expecting, but it is a beautifully written story told from the alternating point of view of two characters that were incredibly unique even if the premise wasn't. Don't discount this story just because you think it's predictable or something you've read before. It's not.
Emmy is a barely-educated teenager when she marries and has a child. Her husband is an abusive jerk who treats her like garbage. The only bright spot in her life is her baby. So when her child is taken from her she loses it and ends up institutionalized.
Then there's Sophie. Poor, sheltered Sophie who has spent her entire life moving from place to place, avoiding what her mother calls the No Good. She's not allowed to attend school. She's not even allowed outside. But when she sees a boy her age, Joey, playing in the yard next door she finally ventures out and gets a taste of what life should be like. And through friendship and love she learns to stand up to her mother, and to not just accept her fate.
This was one I couldn't put down. It's fast paced, intense, and filled with hope. I kept reading because I had to know if Sophie would escape her sheltered life and find happiness with Joey and if Emmy would ever be reunited with Baby. And because Kephart has a way with words that'll make your heart swell.
I'm not sure if this was supposed to be a Young Adult contemporary novel or not. When I requested it from NetGalley it was listed under the Teen section, however I didn't really get a YA feel from it. Amazon recommends it for ages 12+ and there's nothing in it that would keep me from recommending to a younger audience, but I definitely feel this is suited to lovers of mainstream fiction like that of Jodi Picoult. (less)
Love. So. Much. Love. This book was amazing and creepy and exactly what I needed following a string of lackluster reads. I picked this book up from Ne...moreLove. So. Much. Love. This book was amazing and creepy and exactly what I needed following a string of lackluster reads. I picked this book up from NetGalley because the synopsis sounded awesome (the cover does nothing for me. Sorry. I really think a new cover would benefit this book.), but I was apprehensive going in. However The Shadowing did not disappoint.
I don't want to give too much away because there is a lot of stuff the reader should experience on their own. But I will tell you that it's dark, shocking, and all-around full of awesome. And it's DIFFERENT. For one, it's told from the POV of a teenage boy. It was super refreshing to not only find a male mc, but one that I could connect with and root for. I generally read a lot of adult novels as well as young adult, but I've been on a straight YA kick for some time now, so this has been seriously lacking in my reading.
It was sufficiently disturbing and the pacing was excellent. Slater's writing style was good, skin-crawlingly (yeah, I made that word up. So?) good. It was sometimes repetitive, but not enough to distract me from my overall enjoyment of the book. And the plot--again, just so much love. I can't wait for the sequel, Skinned!!
I'm going to go ahead and recommend this book to anyone who likes a darker paranormal story. Those looking for a heavily romanticized read with gorgeous/sparkling supernatural creatures should look elsewhere. (less)
Okay, so it wasn't a literary masterpiece, but it wasn't trying to be so I don't feel the need to judge it as such. It wasn't deep or thought-provokin...moreOkay, so it wasn't a literary masterpiece, but it wasn't trying to be so I don't feel the need to judge it as such. It wasn't deep or thought-provoking, it was merely what it set out to be--a fun, light, quick read. One which I found enjoyable if a little simplistic.
There were a few things that left me scratching my head, like the fact that everyone seems to so easily accept the fact that there's this boy from Elizabethan England that Miranda magically transported to present day. Fine, I knew this was going to happen but I would've expected a little more shock and disbelief before everyone just started making him feel at home.
Other than that, I really liked it. It reminded me a little of the teen-girl movies I love watching. They make little sense but it doesn't make them any less enjoyable. As long as you're not expecting too much, I think you'll find The Juliet Spell worth your time. (less)
Lies can take you a lot of places, but never back.
This is my favorite line in the whole book. It speaks to the part of me that...moreActual Rating 3.5 Stars
Lies can take you a lot of places, but never back.
This is my favorite line in the whole book. It speaks to the part of me that knows that even when the truth is hard, lying--and living with that lie--is harder.
The story is told from multiple, and by multiple I mean like ten, viewpoints which I thought was going to be disconcerting but wasn't. I actually liked getting to see the story from different angles. To get a sense of how a vicious hate crime affects everyone involved. How a community as a whole can be ripped apart.
While I liked Skylar, her relationship with Jimmy is full-on dependence and is borderline abusive. Not physically, but mentally. There's a moment in the story where Skylar convinces herself that everything will be okay once she sees Jimmy. That Jimmy will tell her what to think. I realize this kind of relationship exists in real life, but for me it's still a little hard to swallow.
Other than that I spent a lot of the time hating the remaining characters in this story, except for Skylar's father. He had his flaws, but in the end he tried to redeem himself.
I enjoyed the writing style in this one. It was sharp, concise, tense, but it was a lot of telling. You spend most of the story inside the characters head as they recall the night the beating took place and consider the consequences. If you're looking for action, look elsewhere.
Overall it's worth a read for anyone that enjoys a character-driven, emotional, contemporary novel, but it won't make it to my favorites shelf. (less)
This turned out to be a really cute book. A sweet, light read. Not too much in it that will shock you or make you think, but Sheridan's story is defin...moreThis turned out to be a really cute book. A sweet, light read. Not too much in it that will shock you or make you think, but Sheridan's story is definitely relatable. And it has more heart than one might imagine.
Sheridan's mom ran off years ago and the only thing that keeps her feeling connected to her is her love of decorating cakes, which her mom did before she left. Sheridan is determined to find her, convinced that her mother never wanted to leave and that if she finds her she can convince her to come home. Problem is Sheridan's dad has just been offered a cooking show in New York. Which means they have to move, something Sheridan is dead-set against, especially now that she's found a clue to her mother's whereabouts and there's a super-cute boy interested in her. And what story wouldn't be complete without an equally hot best friend who just happens to be harboring a secret crush on her.
I don't have much to say on this one because there wasn't a whole lot to get angry or excited about. The Sweetest Thing is simply a funny, heart-warming, and sweet read. A little predictable at times, but seeing where things were going didn't detract from my overall enjoyment of the book. There's nothing that's going to make it stand out for me, but I think if you like sweet contemporaries with happy endings that you may enjoy this book. (less)