THE CAGED GRAVES is a historical mystery based around two real caged graves the author, Dianne Salerni, came ac...moreOriginally posted at Beneath the Jacket
THE CAGED GRAVES is a historical mystery based around two real caged graves the author, Dianne Salerni, came across in Catawissa, Pennsylvania. After some research and still not knowing how these caged graves came to be, the author created her own story around them and formed something great.
Verity is a kind and charming character, as well as, a strong heroine: she stands up for what she believes even when others are against her. She won't let anybody deter her from finding out why these two graves that she has personal connections to are covered in cages and sitting outside the church cemetery on unholy ground. And I mean anybody. Father?** Whatever. The man who will be her husband?** Screw him. The attractive doctor's apprentice? Wait. There's an attractive doctor's apprentice? Yes. His name is Hadley Jones. He creates the third corner of a nice little love triangle that actually works with the story and has a purpose. That purpose being related to Verity's character development. Yes, there is also character development, and not just in Verity, but the other characters. This book spoils me. Now I'm going to expect it in everything I read.
The setting of the story is nice and well developed and the prose isn't flowery or over descriptive like one can find in historical novels, but rather simple with an elegant tone. I love the author's writing style. It really fits the feel of the book. As for the mystery, it had me guessing right along with Verity. Maybe I could have caught on sooner, but I was so engrossed in the story that I didn't ever stop to try and figure it out myself. Usually, I have the clues figured out before the character, but in this case, I was having so much fun reading I forgot to try to solve it.
The Caged Graves is a novel with a strong female protagonist and an interesting, well-mixed cast of supporting characters. If you're looking for your next historical novel or a light mystery then check this one out. I also recommend this to fans of A NORTHERN LIGHT.
**These two characters are very supportive of Verity, actually. But if they weren't, she still would have walked right over them.
-A copy was provided by the publisher for a fair review-(less)
THE FOURTH STALL: a noir for middle graders! It's definitely different from other books I've read, and I didn't...moreOriginally posted at Beneath the Jacket
THE FOURTH STALL: a noir for middle graders! It's definitely different from other books I've read, and I didn't think it was a needed genre until I finished it. More noir for the young'uns please!
Mac's office resides in the fourth stall in the East Wing boys' bathroom. He isn't there to do his business, but to do business. Mac sits in his office and hears the problems of his fellow classmates. If it's a problem he can solve, and he can solve any problem, he'll take it on. For a fee, of course.
There's a lot of great humor in the book and a lot of times I couldn't help laughing. Especially at the descriptions and escapades of Mac's team of bullies. The first time they're all introduced is quite brilliant really, and it's a part that stayed with me after I flipped the last page. I love the fact that there are really no good guys in the book. Even Mac, who always tries to do things for good, can screw up at times. And the nemesis? Truly and mysteriously evil throughout. But, this leads me to my next thought:
The book is violent, yes, but I particularly found the gang of high school upperclassmen who seem to have no qualms about going after elementary and middle schoolers to be quite unnerving. It's hard to read middle-grade books as an adult sometimes (one rule seems to be that parents can't exist). I'd be curious to get feedback from someone whose in the age group it's intended for to see how they felt (haven't met one who has read it yet). But then, maybe I'm just being ignorant and teens are beating up younger kids nowadays! It has been a while since I've been to middle school. Apparently, we are not keeping these children and teens busy enough. More homework, I say! More chores! More ballet recitals! And if they're not in ballet, then make them go to one!
Overall, will I be picking up the second one in the series? For sure.(less)
I'm going to say that A CORNER OF WHITE is one of the most creative YA novels to be released this year. I might...moreOriginally posted at Beneath the Jacket
I'm going to say that A CORNER OF WHITE is one of the most creative YA novels to be released this year. I might even already call it the most creative. GASP! Yeah, I went there.
Moriarty's fairytale world where Elliot lives is one I've never read about before. It's almost like the modern world in which we live, but with lots of magic and fairytale elements. It's not like urban fantasy, so maybe it's rural fantasy. Get it? Because Elliot lives in farming country? What I think I found the most interesting was the idea of color storms. In Cello, they have various color storms (i.e. red, yellow, purple) where each is more dangerous than the others. It's a new and creative idea. Or at least it is to me from all that I've read, because I haven't read everything. #Angiefact
As for Madeleine's world, which would be our own modern one, it's...well...our own modern one.
A CORNER OF WHITE contains Moriarty's witty dialogue and fantastic characters. The dual main characters Elliot and Madeleine are easy to sympathize and laugh along with. As for the secondary characters, I love when I can grow to adore them just as much as the protagonists, and the author didn't disappoint me here.
I like how Madeleine and Elliot connect with each other from two different worlds, and how their stories are intertwined. Speaking of stories, my main fault with the book is that I found the story to drag at parts which, unfortunately, didn't keep me reading sometimes. Unlike Moriarty's past books which I've loved (Feeling Sorry For Celia, anyone?) and couldn't put down. I give lots of Angie Points (I just created these) to the author for starting a series that I found to be completely different from what she's written before. I think the final product is a success, minus a few parts of the book I found to be slow.(less)
The Shadowy Horses is the first book I have read by Kearsley and I have to say, I am hooked! I found this one to be amazing and can't wait to pick up...moreThe Shadowy Horses is the first book I have read by Kearsley and I have to say, I am hooked! I found this one to be amazing and can't wait to pick up another one by this author. This book has all my favorite things in it: Scotland, roman history, ghosts, and archaeology. It's like she wrote it for me! Even though I know she didn't, I will thank her anyway. Thank you Susanna Kearsely for writing me my perfect story. I owe you one.
I found the mystery in the book to be intriguing and I couldn't stop reading. I had to see where the story was going to go and how it was going to end. And the romance. I loved it. The characters are so well created and three-dimensional and I instantly fell in love with Verity Grey (and David Fortune) and everyone else (and David Fortune). The story has a good mix of humor too. Writing this, I'm already getting the urge to read it again! I know that I'll be reading another of her's very very soon. (less)
I had a little romance with Yovanoff's second novel THE SPACE BETWEEN and was so excited about reading PAPER VA...moreOriginally posted at Beneath the Jacket
I had a little romance with Yovanoff's second novel THE SPACE BETWEEN and was so excited about reading PAPER VALENTINE. Now, I didn't connect with it the way I connected with Space Between, but I still enjoyed this uber creepy read.
I've decided that Yovanoff must be one of those rare authors that is still able to find ideas that no one has thought of before. Or else, she's just really good at masking overdone plots and making them her own. PAPER VALENTINE is a serial killer mystery that could have bordered on the cliche, but Yovanoff makes what I'm going to now coin a "Yovanoff."
A Yovanoff: when an author adds new elements to an old plot
She writes characters with heart and flaws, and the characters in this story are no exception. Hannah has a nice arc and her relationships with the other characters are complex and natural. I also liked that the romance took a background role and wasn't at the forefront, as it's not what the book is about. It was also super sweet!
Now on to the mystery, it isn't the most unpredictable mystery EVAR, but there are some nice twists in there to throw the reader off. You think you've got it all figured out and then something new is added to the mix. The whole thing had me on the edge of my seat from the beginning all the way through.
Once again, Brenna Yovanoff has yet to disappoint me! Though I do still need to read THE REPLACEMENT...(less)