Charlotte Silver's parents are famous paranormal investigators and skeptics. When the family ends up in Charleston, they encounter a very strong spiriCharlotte Silver's parents are famous paranormal investigators and skeptics. When the family ends up in Charleston, they encounter a very strong spirit that attaches itself to Charlotte and begins complicating her life. Adding to Charlotte's woes, after moving to a new town, starting at a new school and somehow landing a new bestie who just happens to be the head of the popular crowd, Charlotte finds herself embroiled in a mystery surrounding said bestie, her absentee boyfriend, Adam, and resident bad boy Jared James.
The book started out with a lot of promise but ultimately fizzled. Right from the beginning there were some serious disconnects. We're told that Charlotte's parents don't believe in the paranormal, that they drive around in a van labeled "Doubt" and yet they have ghost detecting equipment, speak the ghost hunter lingo and get really, really excited about paranormal indicators like EVP, light orbs and energy spikes. For supposed skeptics they sure as heck act like they believe in ghosts, despite their weak arguments to the contrary. Next we're told that Charlotte's sister, Abby, is chum - a ghost magnet used frequently during documentary shoots. While I laughed at the term and love the concept, Abby was way to jumpy for someone who's occupied that position most of her life. The same goes for Charlotte. Supposedly they grew up being dragged through haunted houses, dungeons, creepy dark places, and yet Abby freaks out because she gets a deep sense of sadness from a location shoot? It doesn't track.
Another pet peeve for me was Charlotte's sudden and intense friendship with Avery. Charlotte moves to town and magically makes friends with the head cheerleader? Because NONE of Avery's otherwise apparently attentive friends are around in the weeks before school starts? It just doesn't fit. More-over, not one of those existing friends has a problem taking Charlotte into their tight-knit clique when school starts. And the mystery surrounding Avery's boyfriend and what really happened to him? Utterly ridiculous. [spoiler]For goodness sake, Jared isn't willing to admit he crashed his car because he swerved to avoid Avery's dog? Really? He's just going to be vilified and not say a word? And because he swerved to avoid hitting the dog, Jared somehow believes he murdered his best friend in the accident? He believes it so much he TELLS Avery he murdered Adam. But of course he won't tell Avery he crashed because of her dog - that would be too traumatic for everyone. I felt like there was a lot of lead up to the reveal of what happened to Adam and why and then to have it be something so ridiculously simple felt very disappointing.[/spoiler]
The actual writing wasn't bad, nice descriptions, excellent scene-setting and a good pace throughout the novel. The characters were distinctive and dialogue was well done. The plot holes and stumbles, however, were too much of a distraction and the decent writing style couldn't rescue the overall story. I think that Mara Purnhagen shows a lot of promise as a writer and I'll be interested to see what she writes in the future. This particular book just wasn't to my taste. ...more
Tessa is a covert operative with the Forces with Extraordinary Abilities branch of the FBI, the FEA. Like her fellow FEA agents, Tessa posses a uniqueTessa is a covert operative with the Forces with Extraordinary Abilities branch of the FBI, the FEA. Like her fellow FEA agents, Tessa posses a unique ability, a mutant adaption that sets her apart from the rest of humanity. In Tessa's case she has the ability to transform into anyone she touches, an exact carbon copy. Her best friend can turn invisible and the boy she's crushing on in the FEA has super-human strength. People like Tessa and her friends are called Variants and not all Variants are good. Tessa gets her first field experience when a series of gruesome murders rocks a tiny town. The FEA suspects Variant involvement and Tessa is sent in to impersonate one of the teen victims who died - popular Madison Sinclair.
There are a surprising number of negative reviews for this book. Despite some issues, I liked Impostor. The book is fast paced and has an X-men feel to it that appeals to me. For the most part, I liked the characters, from Tessa to Alec and Devon. I liked the serial killer twist. Liked the creepy vibe in some sections and had fun trying to figure out the mystery.
Although I enjoyed the novel, I freely admit it has its fair share of issues as well. It falls into the same trap as many YA books with the heroine being just a bit too boy-crazy, not fighting her own battles often enough and the occasional descent into purple prose. Tessa's bouts of whininess, her super special status and inexplicable appeal to those of the male persuasion definitely had a Bella Swan-esqueness. And the ending ... yeah that got weird and complicated. I think I can predict where the series is going but I could be wrong. I'm willing to find out and give the second book a chance. This is not my favorite read of the year but it was a guilty pleasure read. I have no idea why I liked it. I just know I did. ...more
Harper Price has the perfect life: she's homecoming queen, class president, top of the social scene and standing at the head of the line for cotillionHarper Price has the perfect life: she's homecoming queen, class president, top of the social scene and standing at the head of the line for cotillion. All of that goes to hell, however, when she encounters a dying man in the bathroom on homecoming night. The fatally wounded janitor grabs Harper and kisses her passing on his role as a Paladin - a supernatural and ancient warrior/protector. Mr. Janitor, however, dies without telling Harper who she's supposed to protect. That's okay though because two seconds later her history teacher bursts into the bathroom and tries to turn Harper into a shish kabob. Harper fights back with her new-found fighting skills and kills the evil history teacher with her pointy high heel. And so begins Harper's mad, crazy, hilarious and oddly appealing story. This book is like Legally Blonde meets Buffy with a dose of Gone With the Wind thrown in.
Southern Belles kicking ass doesn't get much better as a plot summary, but it fits. I was giggling so many times throughout this book. It's not a heavy, weighty read. There's no deeper message and the plot is fairly shallow and predictable. But it's irresistible none-the-less, a pleasant cotton-candy read to while away a rainy afternoon and make you smile. Rachel Hawkins writes engaging, memorable characters and has a turn of phrase that makes me envious as a writer.
There is, of course, the inevitable love triangle. Can a YA book that involves any amount of romance be published today WITHOUT a love triangle? Sometimes it doesn't seem like it. The love triangle was my least favorite part of the novel and felt forced at times. Ryan, Harper's current boyfriend, is the school golden boy and Mr. Perfect. On the other side of the ring we've got David Stark - editor of the school newspaper, muckraker, general social misfit and kind of an asshole. But you know, a lovable asshole. David has been Harper's arch nemesis since the were in diapers. At least David wasn't your typical bad-boy as he falls into the same over-achiever mold as Harper. It's nice having two protagonists that are total type-A's and obsessed with school. However the trope of love being so close to hate is a bit dated. David is the boy Harper has to protect as a Paladin, whether she wants to or not. And because of that and having to be around him so much, she suddenly discovers he's fascinating and she has feelings for him. Poor Ryan, he gets tossed aside like a used tissue.
The shining star in this book is Harper and her narration. They really make the book despite the other aspects that don't always shine as well. The pace if the novel is fast and furious with the occasional slow-down for a sweet little aside. So many lush details and funny bits and even though I want to smack Harper and David's heads together far too frequently, I still really enjoyed the book overall and will read the sequel. This is the first in a series. Hawkin's first series, HEX HALL, is one of my favorites and this doesn't' quite measure up. Hopefully the series will get stronger as it goes along. ...more
Lucy Carlyle is a ghost hunter, one of the newest members of the Lockwood & Co paranormal investigations company. Unlike the other large ghost hunLucy Carlyle is a ghost hunter, one of the newest members of the Lockwood & Co paranormal investigations company. Unlike the other large ghost hunting firms in London, Lockwood & Co has only 3 employees and they're all kids, no grown-up supervisors allowed. When one of their cases goes horribly awry Lockwood & Co may have to close up shop forever - unless of course they agree to take on the most haunted house in Britain. Of course the last team that went in all died.
This was a fun, fast, rollicking read. I fell in love with all of the main characters and I have to admit the creepy descriptions gave me chills and had me leaving a light on as I read late into the night. Stroud is a genius when it comes to descriptions and Lucy's world comes to life in this book. The world building is superb. The grand mystery was easy to figure out halfway through but I didn't care because I was enjoying the story so thoroughly at that point. I had a hard time pining down WHEN this story takes place, however. At first I thought this was set in a Victorian London or a derivation thereof but it became apparent later that the book is actually set in the present - but an alternate present where there are a lot of historic trappings, ghosts run rampant and not all modern conveniences appear to be in common use. That confusion on time and setting was my only complaint in the entire book. I look forward to reading more in this series and eagerly anticipate the next book....more
Sixteen-year-old Kate discovers that she carries a gene that allows her to time travel and that her grandmother is actually from the future, stuck inSixteen-year-old Kate discovers that she carries a gene that allows her to time travel and that her grandmother is actually from the future, stuck in Kate's present, and trying desperately to stop a sinister religious organization from destroying the world. When time shifts and Kate loses her family in one awful moment, she has to travel back in time to try to set things right.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The time paradoxes were minimal and it's a well thought out and crafted story. Filled with likable characters, interesting issues and a healthy dose of action and adventure it was a fun read. I really liked the different characters and Kate as well. While Kate's relationship with Trey felt a trifle rushed, it was still an important aspect of the story and added that oh so popular dual love interest layer that today's YA seems riddled with. I admit I'm rooting for Kiernan, though I seriously doubt there's any way that particular relationship will work out. I will definitely be reading the second book whenever it comes out....more
Matteo Alacran is a clone - a science-created creature without basic human rights. In a world where cloning is possible and actively engaged in (thougMatteo Alacran is a clone - a science-created creature without basic human rights. In a world where cloning is possible and actively engaged in (though certainly frowned on as an inhumane practice) Matteo struggles to figure out his place. He's the clone of El Patron - the most important man in the country where Matt lives and a ruthless drug cartel kingpin. Matt has few companions and most people hate and despise him - seeing him as little more than a hideous pet. As Matt grows he fights to discover where he belongs.
I give this 3.5 stars. It's not quite a 4 star book for me, but it's certainly not the tempid fair I usually hand 3 stars. The world building on this is thorough and well done, the characters stand out and there's excellent description and dialogue throughout. I found the moralizing a bit heavy-handed and obvious at times and would have appreciated a subtler touch, especially in the last 3rd of the book. Maria's character was a bit uneven overall - and I found her hard to connect with. Matt was, at times, also distant and hard to relate to. I love the dilemas presented by this book however, and the underlying plot. Matt's character read as much younger than his actual age and I'm not certain if that was deliberate or a conscious decision on the author's part but I think that is why I felt a bit of disconnect with Matt at times. I loved him best in the later 3rd of the book when he was the strongest and sticking by his beliefs. I loved his refusal to be cowed in the face of the Keepers. Overall it was a quick, interesting read. I'm not sure if I'll read further in the series, but I enjoyed the first book. ...more
In her second adventure, foundling Jennifer Strange must win a wizards' challenge to save the magical company she manages, protect the freedom of magiIn her second adventure, foundling Jennifer Strange must win a wizards' challenge to save the magical company she manages, protect the freedom of magic and prevent a despot from gaining unlimited power. Sounds easy enough - except everything keeps going wrong. The Kazam wizards, one after another, are out of commission, the corrupt king & his cronies are rigging the contest against Kazam and a strange quark beast is on the loose and in danger of being captured by a scruple-less hunter.
A fun, crazy read with lots of strange twists. Fforde is clearly having fun with this series and indulging his love for the absurd. While the plot dragged a tiny bit, particularly in the first third of the book, overall it's an engaging read. This is the sort of story that will make you smile with all the quirky little details packed inside. Recommended for anyone who loved the first book, Fforde's Thursday Next series, or satirical writing in general. ...more
After recovering her memories, and, more importantly, the names of the Circle of Cavin families, Cammy and her friends must help to track down the famAfter recovering her memories, and, more importantly, the names of the Circle of Cavin families, Cammy and her friends must help to track down the families before the circle can put a nefarious plot in place to start world war III.
As fun, fast-paced and ridiculously enjoyable as the other books in this series, United We Spy was a perfect holiday read. I wanted something light and entertaining and this perfectly fit the bill. I love Cammy and her friends, I love their friendship and kick-ass attitude. I love the complete insanity and improbability of the plot because it's just enough over-the-top to invite you in rather than making me run screaming in the other direction.
I was sad to see this is the last of the Gallagher Girls series, but it was a good ending and a perfect compliment to the other books. ...more