4.5 stars. Topher is a seventeen-year-old boy who has dropped out of school and works at an arcade to help with household expenses, since he can't dep4.5 stars. Topher is a seventeen-year-old boy who has dropped out of school and works at an arcade to help with household expenses, since he can't depend on his neglectful and alcoholic mom. He has a group of close friends and a new girlfriend, Linnette. He also has abilities.
Topher can see auras around people and sense some of their thoughts, and occasionally he knows something that there is no real-world explanation for. He mostly hides these abilities and tries to be normal, until he finds out that Linnette has some of the same talents. Only she calls them power, and she likes to use it, and is hungry for more. The Black Bridge over the river, a place of unsettling darkness, draws Linnette instead of repelling her. And when Topher breaks up with her over their differences, she hooks up with his friend Luke to boost her search for power. Topher, their friends, and Luke's sister Callie, can't break the hold that Linnette has on Luke's mind. And that hold is going to pull Luke at Linnette's beck and call back toward the Black Bridge and the waiting darkness.
This is a very good young adult paranormal book, with appealing characters and a plot that doesn't pull punches....more
This is a light, occasionally touching, romantic story with a hint of Utopian fantasy. Paul, the narrator, is portrayed with warmth and charm as a gayThis is a light, occasionally touching, romantic story with a hint of Utopian fantasy. Paul, the narrator, is portrayed with warmth and charm as a gay boy for whom the gay part is almost a non-issue. He's been out since he was a child. He goes to high-school where the star quarterback and homecoming queen are the same person, in the form of a flamboyant cross-dresser named Infinite Darlene. Tolerance and acceptance are the general rule, leaving teen relationship angst to play out largely unburdened by added pressures for those who are gay. Although there is some isolated intolerance (notably Paul's friend Tony's parents) and some pain (especially in Paul's relationship with his ex-boyfriend Kyle) the general feel is a sweet celebration of teen characters in all their delightful variety. If only we were this far along the path to acceptance in the real world....more
This book began very well, with the tale of a gay teen boy, Kyle, and his straight twin sister, Judy. Told in alternating first person POV's, the twinThis book began very well, with the tale of a gay teen boy, Kyle, and his straight twin sister, Judy. Told in alternating first person POV's, the twins deal with crushes, family issues, each other, and the unusual kid who comes to live in the room in their attic, who may or may not be a vampire. Kyle is a likable character with an engaging voice. Judy is a little more shallow and self-centered, and it is harder to sympathize with her. And for the first 5/6 of the book that was the only thing that bothered me about an otherwise very entertaining read. I did wish Judy was more complex and that her motivations were more in view so one could empathize with her.
The end of the book, however, was somewhat disappointing to me. The conflict between the siblings, which had been bitter and a main thread throughout the book, was resolved in the course of one conversation. The truth about the boy in the attic was revealed and his relationships to the family fell into place easily and without protests. It all wrapped up far too neatly and happily for my tastes. I had no issues with the basic plot resolutions, but I'd have liked to see the hurts and conflicts that had been so significant drag on and make the resolution slower, less complete, and more believable.
Nicely written story of gifted, 15-year-old Nicola, who goes to a summer college-experience program and finds that the person who captures her eye andNicely written story of gifted, 15-year-old Nicola, who goes to a summer college-experience program and finds that the person who captures her eye and her inexperienced heart is another girl. The characters were an interesting group, and there were several moments where I recognized one of the gifted teens whom I have known in one of the boys and girls created by this writer. It has moments of hope and pain and discovery, stays appropriate to a 15-year-old narrator, and ends sweetly but not wrapped up with an unrealistic bow. A welcome addition to the insufficient supply of good YA lesbian stories available....more
A story of siblings and self-discovery, with a cast of interesting characters and unexpected twists. The narrator, Battle, is a believable and sympathA story of siblings and self-discovery, with a cast of interesting characters and unexpected twists. The narrator, Battle, is a believable and sympathetic teen girl who is out on her own for the first time. The book describes her summer before college, discovering what it means to be adult, learning to deal with a relationship with a girl who is not as uncomplicated or as sweet as Nic was in Empress of the World, and trying to try to track down the truths about the magnetic, conflicted and elusive man her estranged brother Nick has become. ...more