This is a heart wrenching story which makes me cryer even harder everytime I read it. Keep a box of tissues nearby!
Hal and his family spend every summ...moreThis is a heart wrenching story which makes me cryer even harder everytime I read it. Keep a box of tissues nearby!
Hal and his family spend every summer at the beach, but this year is different. This year, his sister Charlie won't be coming with them. Instead, she's stuck back in the hospital, in a coma that's lated about a year so far. To make things worse, Hal doesn't know what happened that night last summer before Charlie was found on the beach. He doesn't know much about anything she did that year, because for the first time, they hadn't spent their time together. Now, without Charlie to keep him company, Hal forces himself out on the beach as often as possible to avoid the drama of his parents in the house. That's when he meets Jackie, and it isn't long before he finds her completely irresistable. For the first time since Charlie's accident, things seem to be looking up. But then, he starts hearing her voice, as if she's standing next to him, watching him enjoy his summer without her, and she wants him to figure out exactly what happened to her. Half convinced he's going insane, Hal begins to unwravel the mystery that surrounded that fateful night last year.
The story switches back and forth between Hal's present endeavors to Charlie's past and present, while trapped in the confines of her coma. With an underlying tone of a coming-of-age novel, we watch Hal try to find himself now that he doesn't have Charlie to guide him through the summers, and the heartbreaking aftermath of a family that is steadily falling apart. This book is unforgettable and guaranteed to tug at your every heart string(less)
Dare I say it? Catching Fire is even more breathtaking than it's predecessor. As close to heart-stopping as you can get without risking hospitalizatio...moreDare I say it? Catching Fire is even more breathtaking than it's predecessor. As close to heart-stopping as you can get without risking hospitalization. I read it for the first time as soon as it came out, and it was my favorite book out of the series.
Our heroes, Katniss and Peeta return, now unorthodox victors of The Hunger Games. Never before have 2 victors emerged, and the Capitol is not happy. The only reason they haven't yet been executed is because of their claim that they are madly in love--they couldn't help but cheat the system. Peeta, of course, is 100% convincing in their charade-if that's what it really is, but Katniss is still having problems adjusting, and Gale, who has been unusually distant since she returned home, isn't helping. As Katniss and Peeta prepare for their highly anticipated wedding, President Snow makes it clear that if they aren't convincing enough, there will be heavy prices to pay. And then the Quarter Quell comes. Every 25 years, the Game Makers have something 'special' in store for the districts for the annual Hunger Games. And this year is even more horrifying than usual, when it is announced that this year's tributes will be selected from the previous victors in each district. Being the only girl to have won in District 12, Katniss is guaranteed a trip back to the arena alongside Peeta, who refuses to let her go in without him.
At the end of The Hunger Games, I was sort of wondering where Collins was going to go with the story next, and I was a bit hesitant to read the sequel for fear of disappointment. Don't worry, there isn't a shred of it to be found.
While the first Game was centered more around the violence between the tributes, this arena is filled with multiple gruesome traps which torture those stuck insidein unimaginable ways--if they survive long enough to reach them.
Once again, the realness of the characters strikes horrifyingly close to home. This installation is even more terrifying than the first, and just as capable of keeping any reader on the edge of their seat through the entire fast-paced journey. I'll warn you, though. BEWARE OF CLIFF HANGER!(less)
This is such a haunting tale, it's stayed with me to this day, years after I read it for the first time. The most horrifying part is how real it is: t...moreThis is such a haunting tale, it's stayed with me to this day, years after I read it for the first time. The most horrifying part is how real it is: the characters emotions make you feel as if you're right there, experiencing the terror right alongside them.
Summary: Cathy and her 3 siblings, twins Carrie and Cory, and her older brother Chris, had it all: money, a loving family, and everything they needed to keep them happy. But when their father dies, they lose everything. Desperate, their mother, Corinne, is forced to ask her parents, whom disowned her years ago, for help. In order to be written back into her father's will, Corinne must make her father love her again before he pases away. Unfortunately, the Grandfather doesn't know about the four children. As a result, Cathy and her siblings are forced into hiding in the Grandmother's attick while their mother tries to warm back up to her father. The Grandmother, however, despises all four of the children for unknown reasons. While Cathy and the others stay cooped up in the attic for endless months, the Grandmother subjects them to strict rules and unimaginable cruelty.
Cathy, a youg teenager narrates the tale as she, Carrie, Cory, and Chris try to survive their new life in the attic, isolated from all others and forced to remain quiet so nobody discovers their existance. Although their mother tries to make up for the neglect, she does nothing to save them from the starvation and beatings they recieve at the hands of the Grandmother, and as countless moths go by, they begin to wonder if they will ever be allowed out of the attic.(less)
I was lucky enough to get an ARC copy for review. I'm not huge on romance novels, but I was hoping that this would be as good as Julie Cross' Tempest...moreI was lucky enough to get an ARC copy for review. I'm not huge on romance novels, but I was hoping that this would be as good as Julie Cross' Tempest novels. I definitely wasn't disappointed.
Karen Campbell is an elite gymnast who's never had much of a social life outside of gymnastics. When her parents die in a car accident, she's faced with the choice of leaving her home town to live with her grandmother whom she hardly knows, or take her coach's offer to stay with him and continue training. She decides on the latter. She moves in with her coach and his son, Jordan, but since she doesn't have much experience (at all) with dealing with the opposite sex, she can't help but act incredibly awkward whenever he's around. The fact that he's attractive doesn't help. Jordan is more understanding about her situation than she ever could have hoped for, however, and as they get to know each other, she realizes that they have more in common than she originally thought. Jordan has a unique perspective on loss and is able to help Karen through her situation better than anyone else.
Even though Karen is seventeen, the fact that she has little relationship experience puts the character in a unique situation. As she starts acknowledging her feelings for Jordan, a lot of her lines are a bit cliche, like you'd expect from someone much younger, but taking her lack of experience into account, it makes complete sense, and Cross does an excellent job of incorporating the first-crush-cliches without making the plot seem overly corny. Throughout the story, as Karen tries to cope with the loss of her parents, we see her writing letters to them as well as others around her, and are able to see first hand how her feelings develop and transgress as she navigates the stages of loss and tries to adapt to her new life. Even though it's in first person, these letters offer a uniquely personal connection to the main character. Cross' novel offers a very accurate depiction of how a teenager would try to cope with losing her parents, rearranging her entire life, and entering her first romantic relationship. It's a heart wrenching coming of age account of finding the courage to move on, even when it seems like everything is lost.(less)
Every once in a while I'll come across an author whose mere style is addicting. Buehlman is one of those authors. I could read an account of his most...moreEvery once in a while I'll come across an author whose mere style is addicting. Buehlman is one of those authors. I could read an account of his most boring day and be entranced. That said, Those Across the River is far from boring. With a touch of historical fiction, Those Across the River is a perfect example of haunting mystery. It is one of the most realistic accounts I've read that addresses the question "what happens when an ordinary small town is confronted with monstrous and mysterious beings just a few miles from them?" Everything from the story to the prose is hauntingly beautiful. The plot unfolds so smoothly you hardly have time to notice that the initial suspense has transformed into horrifying action. A must read for horror lovers and mystery addicts alike. 4.5 stars (less)
Twilight's gotten a bad rep because it became a fad. I lost interest in the series, but it definitely wasn't because of this book. I wouldn't have cho...moreTwilight's gotten a bad rep because it became a fad. I lost interest in the series, but it definitely wasn't because of this book. I wouldn't have chosen it on my own, but a good friend recommended it to me. The book got me hooked right from the beginning just from how original it is. I'm not a fan of monster books. Vampires, zombies, I try to stay away from all of them, which is why the concept of Twilight intrigued me. Everything about the vampires are different, as if the myth is being completely rewritten. Even better we get to see the struggle of Edward, who is determined to turn away from his evil instincts, and is convinced that his soul is eternally damned no matter what he does.
I wasn't able to relate to Bella well--Apart from the fact that she's a clutz (story of my life). She seems really weak, completely dependent on Edward the moment they begin dating. However, I'm not saying that this is completely unrealistic. True love can be a powerful thing. Still, I don't feel that Bella would be someone I would look up to as a role model, which is what I usually look for in a good protagonist.
Overall, the story is excellent and I had a hard time putting it down. Packed with just enough action and suspense to even out the romance for those who don't usually go down that route. (less)
I was luck enough to get an advanced copy of this book, which my grandma from Chicago sent me. While I'm not a huge fan of a lot of vampire stories, t...moreI was luck enough to get an advanced copy of this book, which my grandma from Chicago sent me. While I'm not a huge fan of a lot of vampire stories, this one actually managed to hold my attention. Mainly because it has more to do with real-life problems then paranormal or fantasical ones. It's laced with comedy and sarcasm as Mina tries to cope with her vampire parents whom are trying to get her to join them in her rightful place as their vampire daughter. Mina just wants to be normal, and the blood-sucking life style doesn't seem to be for her. But when her uncle comes to be her mentor into her potential future lifestyle, she starts to contemplate the importance of family and how she can balance her high school life on top of her herritage.(less)
Fantasy usually doesn't catch my attention; I'm usually not into monster books with vampires and werewolves, etc. But The Mortal Instruments creates a...moreFantasy usually doesn't catch my attention; I'm usually not into monster books with vampires and werewolves, etc. But The Mortal Instruments creates a world like no other, and I can't get enough.
When Clary arrives home one night to find her house ransacked and her mother missing, she is thrown into an adventure that she never saw coming. She discovers that she is no ordinary teenager, she is a Shadowhunter: a human-angel hybrid of demon hunters created to keep earth safe from the paranormal. But a threat is emerging that even Shadowhunters can't control. Valentine, a rogue Shadowhunter is on a mission to destroy the Clave--the governing force behind the Shadowhunters and create his own rule using the legendary Mortal Cup, and the only way to stop him, is for Clary to find the Mortal Cup first.
Laced with witty comedy and romance, The Mortal Instruments will have you addicted from the first page, all the way past the end. I wasn't able to get my hands on the sequel fast enough. Clare creates a new exciting world by putting a unique twist on an overdone concept, turning it into anything but cliche. Add that to the stunning characterization, and we have a recipe for (surprise, surprise)a top-ten on the New York Times best seller list.(less)