Hmmm...Hidden Bodies didn't live up to its predecessor, You. I think part of the problem was the emphasis on secondary chara*Audiobook edition review*
Hmmm...Hidden Bodies didn't live up to its predecessor, You. I think part of the problem was the emphasis on secondary characters who weren't interesting. Joe seemed tamer this time around, and there were parts I had to listen to repeatedly because I kept zoning out leaving me to wonder if I missed something important. But nope, I never did. Those moments were mostly in the beginning when Joe meets his new girlfriend Love's family. There just wasn't enough of what made the first novel so likable for me.
I listened to a huge chunk of Hidden Bodies in one day once I was in the middle of the story - I had to know what was going to happen! Another strange thing I encountered was some of the story depressed me, and I almost had to take a break from listening but didn't really want to stop. I became so wrapped up in it I had to remind myself I wasn't in the story, and that's likely because I spent 4 or 5 hours in a row listening to it.
Santino Fontana as the narrator was fantastic. His voice was exactly how I thought Joe would sound. I quite enjoyed his Californian accent for the local characters. There are parts of Hidden Bodies I'd listen to over again just because of his talented reading of this novel. So while the story didn't live up to the first novel, I would still recommend it because you need more Joe in your life like I did, haha! I really hope there's a third book and that it can capture the essence of the first novel!...more
This one was so good! I read this to my 7-year-old son in three nights, and while we giggled here and there throughout, there were two or three scenesThis one was so good! I read this to my 7-year-old son in three nights, and while we giggled here and there throughout, there were two or three scenes that really had us guffawing. :D ...more
I'm going through a thriller phase right now. Over the last couple of months, I've read four or five of them and have enjoyed them all. After readingI'm going through a thriller phase right now. Over the last couple of months, I've read four or five of them and have enjoyed them all. After reading a review for Behind Closed Doors, I happened to see a comment on the review recommending this series, and that's all it took. I was sold.
You was edgy, scary and fun. I love unreliable narrators, and it was pretty clear from the beginning I couldn't trust Joe's version of events. He's a stalker, for one, and two, he has a distorted view of what a relationship should be like.
I'm still trying to figure out how he finagled his way into transforming himself from Beck's stalker to her boyfriend. Obviously she didn't realize she was being stalked, but still. He's just so smooth that one would never suspect there's a dark and dangerous side to him. He's well read and intelligent, and on the outside appeared to be "normal."
For a few weeks everything's peachy, but I knew Joe and Beck were heading off the rails at any moment. He was too freaky about her, and really, I didn't think there was anything special about her. She was quite annoying as a matter of fact - someone I'd never want to hang out with.
As unhealthy and unattainable his views on relationships are, Beck was never going to give him what he wanted. I saw that from the get-go. She had issues herself, like a complete lack of self respect and the attention span of a gnat.
You had plenty of surprises and held my attention throughout, and as weird as this sounds, I actually wanted more of Joe. He weaves an interesting tale and seeing the inner workings of his mind is disturbing but also like a train wreck - you can't look away. ...more
I received a copy of this book for review from Netgalley via the publisher. Thank you so much!
Nemesis is the first book by Anna Banks I've read, andI received a copy of this book for review from Netgalley via the publisher. Thank you so much!
Nemesis is the first book by Anna Banks I've read, and wow, she knocked it out of the park! This was a YA fantasy that was a really awesome read and excited me enough to want to delve into the genre again. It's been a while since a book in this genre has been able to do that for me.
Nemesis is told alternately from Sepora's 1st person POV and Tarik's 3rd person POV. Sepora and Tarik each have an ability that adds to their personalities and makes them even more interesting. Sepora is the last Forger, a person who can create a substance called spectorium. I'm still not 100% sure what it is, but I do know it's special and sounds like it would be pretty to see.
Tarik is a Lingot, a person who can speak all languages and discern the truth from lies. One of the main problems the characters in Nemesis face is the plague sweeping through Tarik's kingdom, Theoria. It was nerve wracking to see how Sepora would get around Tarik's ability because she needed to keep the fact that she can Forge a secret as well as other aspects of her true identity she needed to keep hidden. She was cool and confident though she had every reason to sweat it every time she had to be around Tarik. I admired that about her.
Then there's also the romantic tension between Sepora and Tarik. At first they can't stand each other, but slowly over time they grow closer. No instalove here though, so if that's something you don't like, there isn't anything to worry about. It was nice that the book's plot wasn't overtaken by romance, too. There were many more important things going on.
I was really intrigued by the Parani, who are a kind of merfolk-type creatures with webbed hands and human-like faces. They guard Nefarite, a substance Theoria needs, and they are deeply feared and were captivating to read about. I'm not sure I'd want to meet one, though!
I took off one star for two reasons. There was a lot to remember in the beginning - names of people and kingdoms including which kingdom was known for what. I admit I had to take notes to keep everything straight.
The second reason is Sepora's name. Like other reviewers, I found myself pronouncing her name Sephora with an "h" after the beauty store, and it bugged me.
I personally love this cover. It's what attracted me to check out Nemesis because I believe it stands out from most other covers. Beneath the interesting cover lies a story that stands out just as much. Whether you already love YA fantasy, or you've been looking to try it out, start with Nemesis. ...more
9/26/16 Yet another read I wanted to love but didn't. The time Susannah spent in a concentration camp was described in vivid, horrific detail, so much9/26/16 Yet another read I wanted to love but didn't. The time Susannah spent in a concentration camp was described in vivid, horrific detail, so much so that it didn't feel like fiction; however, the rest of the story wasn't nearly as engaging. The flashbacks were what I wanted to read about the most.
12/22/16 Thanks to the publisher for allowing me to read and review a copy of this novel!
As I recently wrote in a review for another book in which a fictional story was set during a real-life tragedy (in that case, 9/11), it's tricky writing fiction with a horrific real-life event as the main event. There's a balance to be struck between keeping the facts of what really happened and the story you're trying to tell.
I wanted to really love The Sugar Men but found I wasn't fully invested in it. While the beginning hooked me right away, I found parts of the story implausible and wasn't able to connect with the characters very well. The flashbacks were the most engaging parts of the novel, and I think the story would have fared better had the present been contained to the beginning and ending of the novel.
What I found most implausible was Susannah's journey back to Germany. With her illness, I don't think she would have been able to travel alone. I couldn't understand why she insisted on going alone. Why didn't she ask at least one of her kids to go with her? I also was surprised at how little her kids knew about her past. I can understand how she'd want to bury her past, but how do you keep all of that pain and anguish bottled up from people you love? I'd imagine it would have eventually spilled out long before it did.
As I mentioned earlier, I had a difficult time connecting with Susannah and her kids, hence the 3 stars. Since her kids didn't know their mother as well as they thought, I felt as a reader I didn't, either. And her kids -- the reader learns very little about them. They were just kind of there almost as props.
On the plus side, the author researched the Holocaust thoroughly. I wanted more of Susannah's story when she was a kid, and I felt disappointed when the story swung back to the present. The time Susannah spent in a concentration camp was described in such vivid horrific detail that it didn't feel like fiction; however, the rest of the story wasn't nearly as engaging. The flashbacks were what I wanted to read about the most.
We hear so much about Auschwitz that it's easy to forget there were other camps with their own atrocities. The author did well with setting the story in a different concentration camp.
Overall, I'd still recommend The Sugar Men to anyone who's interested in learning more about the Holocaust because while Susannah is a fictional character, the author was able to put a face to this real-life tragedy....more
The Memory of Things was so difficult to rate because I wanted to love it more than I did; however, a couple aspects of the story just didn't work forThe Memory of Things was so difficult to rate because I wanted to love it more than I did; however, a couple aspects of the story just didn't work for me. I should have been able to whip through this book in a couple of sittings, but a lack of time prevented me from accomplishing that.
The Memory of Things presented me with a different kind of storytelling - it's told in alternating POVs between the two main characters, Kyle and the mystery girl. What's really interesting is that Kyle's POV is straight forward, but the girl's POV is told in a lyrical, almost poetic manner which I found that I liked. It added to the mystery and uncertainty of who she is and why she was at the place Kyle found her.
Due to the sensitive subject matter, I felt compelled to rate this at least 4 stars, but I ended up feeling I couldn't do that because it wouldn't be an honest representation of how I feel about the book. As I mentioned earlier, there were things about the story I wish had been different.
On September 11, Kyle is making his way home after the first tower goes down. He comes across an ash-covered girl wearing angel wings. She seems to have amnesia, and Kyle can't just leave her there by herself, so he has her go home with him.
Kyle's uncle, who is disabled, lives with him and his family, and I liked the inclusion of a diverse character who isn't found in many books. Kyle's uncle wasn't disabled just for the sake of including diversity into the story - he had an important role to play in the story. I loved Kyle's relationship with him and how much Kyle looks up to him.
Kyle is an awesome kid who somehow keeps it together throughout the terrifying events of a day that will live in the world's memory forever. He is strong and mature for his age; however I took off one star because I felt there was a lack of depth and emotion overall. There needed to be more. I get that he wasn't sure how to help the girl he found, but I was hoping for more about how these characters were affected by the events of that day.
I also took off a star because the ending felt a little too pat for me. I think it should have had an open ending. I do give major props to Polisner for handling a national tragedy with the sensitivity and care that she did. I still recommend The Memory of Things because you might not be as picky as I was about the way the amount of emotion in the story and the way it ended. ...more
This book was SO good. There should be copies available everywhere for teens to read. I borrowed it from the library, but I'm definitely buying a copyThis book was SO good. There should be copies available everywhere for teens to read. I borrowed it from the library, but I'm definitely buying a copy. Tackled anxiety disorder like a boss. ...more