This story is about a high school teenager who decides to attend a college prep camp and is dormed in a building that once used to be an insane asylumThis story is about a high school teenager who decides to attend a college prep camp and is dormed in a building that once used to be an insane asylum. Shortly after his arrival, strange things begin to happen. The reader learns early on that Dan, the teen, is a somewhat unreliable narrator. He was in the foster system for a long time before being adopted by his current family. He has a history of memory lapses and regularly sees a therapist. Dan finds a hidden part of the asylum in the basement of the building where he resides. Upon further investigation, he learns that he and the former warden of the asylum share the same name and that the warden did horrible things to his patients. Dan begins receiving cryptic notes and finding eerie photos that worry him. When terrible things begin to happen to people on the campus, Dan starts to wonder if he is being paranoid that he is being framed or if he is actually behind the incidents but failing to remember them.
I enjoyed this book. It was a quick, easy read. The author places several red herrings throughout the story in an attempt to keep the reader guessing what is really going on. I had a pretty good idea of who it was but was curious to discover the how and why. Other than being highly coincidental, the story was pretty good. The photos included also put a chilling touch on the book as well. It was not a you'll be so scared, you can't sleep book but definitely a page turner and a good young adult read.
I am looking forward to reading the sequel in the near future....more
* I received an ARC edition of this book in the first-reads giveaway program.
When I was scrolling through the books listed in the giveaway program, t* I received an ARC edition of this book in the first-reads giveaway program.
When I was scrolling through the books listed in the giveaway program, this one immediately caught my eye. I liked the cover art and was curious as to what the story would be about. In short, the plot summary tells of a 15 year old girl and her younger sister who live in the woods far from society as a result of the actions of their drug addicted and mentally ill mother. Then one day the girls are discovered and reunited with their father and brought back to modern society to live. I was somewhat intrigued by the plot. I can't recall a similar story line and I thought that this book could have great deal of potential. Unfortunately, my expectations fell short. As I read the book I tried to pinpoint what it was that disturbed me. I didn't hate the book or even strongly dislike the book; it just didn't feel right when I was reading it. Ultimately I decided that I thought the author overreached. To me, the book lacked consistency and realism frequently. For example, the mother is a meth addict and also bi-polar. I realize that the combination would make her actions unpredictable. Yet, there were little things that just seemed ridiculous. For instance, the girls did not know what a pencil eraser was BUT the mother had enough stability about her to bring school textbooks and sheet music to the woods. Both girls have schooled themselves so that they are actually ahead of their peers in school when they return to society. It also seemed strange to me that the mother would only bring them cans of beans and yet they had a supply of bullets for the shot gun to kill their own food in the woods. Beyond that, both girls have been abused by their mother and others but it seemed to me their adjustment back into society went much too smoothly. I'm not saying that the author didn't include bumps in the road because she did. They just weren't big enough to be realistic in my opinion. I feel like I am being nit-picky about the book and that's not my intention. The book has the basis of a good story line and could make for interesting reading. If you can get past all the minor inconsistencies, the book had potential to become a good story. Unfortunately, I couldn't help but be bothered by the lack of realism. I would still recommend this book to others. It's not a bad book; it just needed more substance and to be a bit more thought out in my opinion. ...more
I had a somewhat difficult time deciding how to rate this book. In all fairness I think it is important to point out that this is a young adult book aI had a somewhat difficult time deciding how to rate this book. In all fairness I think it is important to point out that this is a young adult book and I am a middle aged woman so my review may differ greatly from a teenager. Overall, I liked the book. It's a cute, short, coming of age story. It does not require any intense reading effort or deep thought. The story itself is entertaining though. I went into the experience thinking the story would primarily focus on two young people meeting and falling in love. That wasn't exactly the case though. I felt in many ways the story centered more around a teen girl trying to come to terms with her recently divorced parents each moving on in their respective lives. It was definitely a feel good story and served as a great reminder of taking a chance now and again when dealing with uncertainty.
I would recommend this book to other readers. It is worth the effort and won't take up too much valuable reading time.
I have thought about how to review this book for days and am still coming up empty-handed. I read this book for one main reason: I had read The FaultI have thought about how to review this book for days and am still coming up empty-handed. I read this book for one main reason: I had read The Fault in Our Stars and thought it was brilliant. I enjoyed the characters and was really enthralled by the story itself. So, I figured I'll give another John Green book a try. I saw so many 5-star reviews for Looking for Alaska that I thought it would be a sure bet. That wasn't the case for me however.
Overall, the book is not necessarily a bad book. It takes on some rather serious topics and gets quite philosophical at times (so much so that I had to wonder if the targeted teen audience would truly enjoy it either). In some ways I can see how it is a good coming of age story. It is filled with teenage angst, sexual tension, childish behavior and pranks, life lessons, so on and so forth. The problem though is that the characters seem so shallow at first that it becomes hard to like them or even understand them until the tragic event the the story is leading up to occurs. At that point, the reader starts to see a shift in the characters' personalities. All of a sudden you see that there is more layers to them than meets the eye. The question is whether or not it's too late in the story to make a difference. That is where I am torn. I liked the characters and I liked the story but it could have been so much better.
I have read several reviews comparing this book to the movies in the 80's produced by John Hughes. Perhaps they are right. The book centers around a group of kids who don't fit in well with others and are just trying to navigate their way into adulthood. Maybe teenage jock Andrew from The Breakfast Club summarized this book best when he said, "We're all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it, that's all."...more
I struggled terribly with rating and reviewing this book. To be honest, my greatest concern was that my critique would be too harsh for two primary reI struggled terribly with rating and reviewing this book. To be honest, my greatest concern was that my critique would be too harsh for two primary reasons. The first is that I know I am judging this book by comparing it to the original version by Henry James and in all honesty perhaps it is unfair to do that. The second problem is that ultimately this book is a Young Adult book and I am struggling to keep that in context. Lately the market has been saturated with so many young adult books and I have enjoyed many of them. To be fair, many of the ones I have enjoyed though were able to transcend the Young Adult genre and be interesting, entertaining, and stimulating reading for adults as well. In my opinion, The Turning never attained the level needed to make this Young Adult book suitable/enjoyable reading for adults (or maybe even anyone over say the age of 12).
There were several things that I disliked about the book. First and perhaps most importantly, I felt that the characters were never developed to a point necessary to be invested in their stories. In particular, the author did a poor job with Sophie. Since Jack is narrating his story in large part through letters to his girlfriend, Sophie, it seems to me fundamental that the reader get to know and understand Sophie. Unfortunately, the reader learns very little about Sophie. So, when Jack makes accusations about her cheating or lying, they fall flat because no-one really knows anything about Sophie. Beyond that, the lack of character development makes conversations between characters seem contrived and ridiculous at times.
I also did not care for the letter format used in the book to tell the story. I, like many other readers, felt that no teenage boy would write the way Jack did or say the things that he did.
Finally, I felt as if Prose took the mystery out of the story. There were no spine thrilling chills at all during the reading of this book and I felt no eerie creepiness that one hopes for when reading a ghost story.
I will give credit where credit is due however. I think that Prose deserves a shout out for trying to take a classic story and rework it in such a way to entice younger readers to give it a try. While I thought the effort ultimately failed, I do appreciate the fact that she may have piqued the curiosity of some young readers (and maybe even some adults) and ultimately led them back to the original text. ...more
Appropriately labeled as a companion to The Forest of Hands and Teeth, The Dead-Tossed Waves is not a direct continuation of Mary's story. Instead theAppropriately labeled as a companion to The Forest of Hands and Teeth, The Dead-Tossed Waves is not a direct continuation of Mary's story. Instead the reader is introduced to Gabry, a survivor who lives with her mother in a lighthouse on a beach at some point in the future from where The Forest of Hands and Teeth left off. Gabry's mom has taught her to live a safe life by emphasizing the need to stay away from the Forest and other off-limits areas. One night, Gabry defies her mother by going with a group of friends into an unsafe carnival area. The group is attacked by some Unconsecrated (the living dead) and the results are disastrous not only for the group but also for the people they love and the citizens they reside with.
I thought The Dead-Tossed Waves was a really good book. In many ways, it's a coming of age story set in a time of uncertainty, where survival is the foremost thought in everyones' minds. It's a fast, intense read with a great deal of action. The character development is pretty good, although there were one or two characters in which I couldn't decide if they weren't developed enough or if I simply didn't like them. The plot line is fairly simple but still interesting. There's also parts that touch on the first book and allow you to learn answers to questions you may have had after reading it. I must say that it is not necessary to read the first book in order to enjoy this one though (although I would still recommend reading the first).
Overall, I enjoyed this book a bit more than the first because I thought the plot in this one was better developed with more action and I liked that it focused less on the love triangle in the story. Without question, I am looking forward to reading the third installment in the series soon. ...more
To be fair, this book is a Young Adult selection and I am not a member of that target audience. What attracted me to Starters was the plot summary. ATo be fair, this book is a Young Adult selection and I am not a member of that target audience. What attracted me to Starters was the plot summary. A biological spore kills all people between ages 20 and 60. The survivors under the age of 20 are the Starters and those over 60 are known as the Enders. Some Starters are fortunate enough to have grandparents alive that are able to take care of them. Those Starters who are abandoned must take shelter where they can find it and fend for themselves in the often violent war torn streets. Callie, 16, believes she has found a way to make some money and help her and her younger brother escape life on the streets. She will allow an Ender to rent her body. A chip will be inserted into her brain, as well as the brain of the borrowing Ender, and then the Ender can use her body to play sports and feel young again. Callie discovers a secret about the company offering the service though. It is their intention to allow something much more sinister to be done with the young bodies and Callie is not as safe as she thought once she rents her body out for an Ender to borrow.
All in all, it's a really good story idea but I thought it wasn't developed to the full potential it could have been. I just didn't feel as if any of the characters had any real depth. The story was never really tense or exciting either. Even the love triangle fell flat for me. Price left several cliffhangers at the end of the book that intrigued me somewhat, but I am not sure whether they were enough to entice me to read the next book in the series. Maybe? ...more
This is one of the easiest reviews ever. As soon as I finished this book, I immediately started surfing the net to see if there is any indication whenThis is one of the easiest reviews ever. As soon as I finished this book, I immediately started surfing the net to see if there is any indication when the next installment of this series will be released.
- Great characters that are wonderfully developed - A fascinating, intriguing plot - Mysterious and haunting - Leaves the reader wanting more
Borrowed from the library but will be purchased with no reservations!
Two teenagers, both living with cancer, fall in love while battling the obstacles that life has challenged them with. Without elaborating anymore on tTwo teenagers, both living with cancer, fall in love while battling the obstacles that life has challenged them with. Without elaborating anymore on the story itself, I will say that there were moments when I laughed out loud while reading, as well as times that I actually found myself sobbing. More importantly, when I was finished with the book, I found myself thinking a great deal about the questions posed in the book concerning the meaning of life and death and an individual's place within the universe itself. Poignant and beautifully written, The Fault in Our Stars is a wonderful read!...more
I really liked this book. It's a quick read and fast paced. There were times when I had to restrain myself from looking down the page to see what wasI really liked this book. It's a quick read and fast paced. There were times when I had to restrain myself from looking down the page to see what was going to happen. Already picked up the next 2 books in the series and am looking forward to reading those as well.