Read way too many times. Great for children and for adults. Written plainly; easy read. There is a sweetness to the voice rounding out the entire storRead way too many times. Great for children and for adults. Written plainly; easy read. There is a sweetness to the voice rounding out the entire story. I've read this with each of my children, and each loved it in their own way....more
A tale of action, intrigue, and the undying spark of human nature to fight for survival.
The sequel continues in Freedom, where the world is still broA tale of action, intrigue, and the undying spark of human nature to fight for survival.
The sequel continues in Freedom, where the world is still broken and being free still translates to submissive behavior and doing what the government orders. Two new characters are introduced, Raine and Gunner--acquaintances at best. Neither are fond of following the paths their lives are on and seek to change their current existence by affiliating with underground rebels.
Initially, we have the typical boy-knows-girl for years and has a hidden crush on her. But soon the story presents the reader with twists and turns, forging Raine and Gunner's paths together both emotionally and for their freedom. As their individual lives crumble, they find solace in each other and a reason to find true freedom. The dangers to discover what lies beyond the walls of their bound world slowly shrink.
The characters are individuals, yet weave in a way to effectively move the story forward and deepen the dystopian edge. Raine's father is a perfect character for young adult fiction, giving a great parallel to how teens can sometimes view their parents. He's overbearing and controlling, everything a teen wants to avoid. And Raine wants what most teens want: to be who she is. This subliminal message definitely added to my interest in Raine and her world. But I won't fool you; he's not just her dad but Freedom's ruler. Frankly, I didn't like him at all.
Raine has a tough exterior, but is really soft inside, desiring nothing more than to make her own life choices. A life match has been chosen for her, as is what happens with everyone. And although her match is a friend, she knows they will never be anything more than just friends.
As much as I enjoyed Raine's voice and point-of-view of her world, I absolutely loved Gunner and the view of Freedom through his eyes. Everything about him, from his open attitude to his intellect to his warm heart and desire to do what's right says what teen girls want. For that matter, it says what most people want out of a significant other. His cautious yet flirtatious beginnings with Raine pulls off well and slowly builds as the reader gains momentum towards the climax of the story. I especially enjoyed Johnson's clever way of having Raine and Gunner, as well as other characters, say what they didn't mean and then using their inner thoughts to help them sort out their wants and feelings. This kept me on my toes.
Decisions must be made and risks must be taken to change their world. Johnson does a wonderful job of aligning scenes and events to increase tension and mystery. I love a story where I can melt into the world building, believing in its reality. And this story has a natural feel from the world to its characters. I'm excited to see where Johnson takes the story next.
Favorite Line/Passage: "Cannon applied the dissolvall to remove the permaplaster, and my hand came free with a terrible squelching sound. Tears streamed down my face at the tender way he touched me, as if I were made of glass and might shatter at any moment. I was eternally grateful protocol said matches could touch each other; if I didn't have Cannon to hold on to after a drain, I didn't know how I'd survive."
I'd like to thank the publisher for providing me with an ARC for review. ...more
Destined is a legendary tale, told in a modern voice and spiced with Harrell's gentle nature and charm. Her rendition breaths new life into this timelDestined is a legendary tale, told in a modern voice and spiced with Harrell's gentle nature and charm. Her rendition breaths new life into this timeless story of honor, love, and betrayal, introducing Psyche and Eros to a new generation.
True to it's mythological roots, Destined follows Psyche as she struggles with the her fate of being chosen 'a daughter of Aphrodite.' One of my favorite aspects of this retelling was Harrell's utilization of two POVs. I find it interesting to see a story from more than one vantage point. But Harrell goes even farther by giving the reader an intimate view of Psyche through a first person voice, all while teasing the reader by leaving Eros in third person. This method gives Eros' manliness a boost and makes for a faster paced story.
And speaking of Eros, could he get any hotter? If Harrell's physical description of him doesn't get you, the words she gives him will. His bad-boy attitude only makes him more attractive as does Harrell's decision to write his voice in third person. But slowly, as the story progresses, his cockiness softens and he grows emotions, changing the momentum of the story. I quickly found myself wanting more and more of him, unable to wait for the flip of the page.
Psyche is a strong protagonist, which young adults can relate to and admire. Harrell's usage of some of Greek Mythology's characters such as Persephone and Charon really give the tale vigor, and leave a thirst for more Mythology on the tongue. What better influence could a writer have then to intrigue a younger generation to seek out the classics....more
It's a fun read, lighter than a lot of other vampire stories I've read.
From the opening scene, I was hooked. Heather Brewer does a great job of conveIt's a fun read, lighter than a lot of other vampire stories I've read.
From the opening scene, I was hooked. Heather Brewer does a great job of conveying the 'normalcy' Vlad craves. She places him in every day, normal settings any eighth grader would have to butt up against. He has the best friend, crushes on the cute girl in school, and has Aunt Nelly--the responsible guardian. Of course as the story progresses, he finds himself in a few unusual situations which is expected of any paranormal story.
Vlad is an articulate kid with a thirst for blood. Although his thirst is quenched through blood bags brought to him by his aunt, he does desire blood. Real human blood. He's not bound by some animal or vegetarian diet. This is a sweet coming-of-age story, despite Vlad's genetics being half human/ half vampire. Sweet...yup, I said that. I think Vlad is sweet. He grows stronger, smarter, and more courageous and in the end must face a few tough choices. He grows between the pages.
Although this book is considered young adult, I would recommend it to a selective middle grade audience. Those kids who are avid readers and relish in the paranormal. There is nothing vulgar or sexual about any scene or word. It's tastefully, and yes, sweetly done. Bravo, Ms. Brewer.
I look forward to reading the next installment: Ninth Grade Slays....more
My first thoughts after I began reading was that of the Pied-Piper luring innocent children from their normal lives with pSo much fun creepy goodness!
My first thoughts after I began reading was that of the Pied-Piper luring innocent children from their normal lives with promises of fun and excitement in his playground. Or even Pinocchio, when he was tricked to journey to a faraway land only to be turned into a donkey. But there is so much more here!
There's normal parents and snooty-nosed parents, and hyper kids and mischievous kids. We find typical friendships between school-aged kids, regular chores and school work, and the average interaction between parents and child. And - of course - there has to be a spooky abandoned house that suddenly isn't abandoned anymore. I don't blame the neighborhood for being a bit miffed at first notice the house was occupied. After all, it was the kiddos' neighborhood hangout, the place where they battled invisible dragons and ran gauntlet races in some imaginary fairy tale land. But when the ornery attitudes of some parents and kids soften, turning to almost adoration, after Dr. Fell erects his playground the fun really begins.
This was an absolute pleasure to read! The story brims with energy, mystery, and all sorts of spookiness! And this girl loves the spook, creep, and kind-of-sort-of not really normal folk. Just look at Dr. Fell. He has a sinister feel to him with that purple top hat he always wears. He's got this calm and gentle demeanor, which totally red flags the reader. And the funny thing about it is that it's all part of the eerie lure to keep reading. It's a cleverly written and engaging tale for readers young and old! Streets and character names, and visual descriptions set this unique world apart. A playground, a mysterious doctor, and awe between the pages...who could ask for more?...more
Read it so long ago but from what I remember...I loved it and hated it for so many reasons. It did what it was supposed to do. Guess it got me. Love SRead it so long ago but from what I remember...I loved it and hated it for so many reasons. It did what it was supposed to do. Guess it got me. Love Stephen King....more