Sunday, February 27, 2011
Monday, February 21, 2011
Thanks to netgally.com for the early look at the is book.
Brenna has done a terrible thing. She called the police when she found her boyfriend standing over a murdered girl with a bloody knife in his hands. That was two years ago. She hasn’t gotten over it. She is stuck in that fourteen year old mind never moving forward. Her mother took her away shortly after and she never knew what happened to White Bird, his preferred Euchee name. But now her Grandmother has died and they are returning to the small town where it all happened. Brenna and her mother will spend the summer there fixing up her Grandmother’s house to sell. She isn’t happy about being back and it seems that the teens in town aren’t happy about seeing her either. The only welcome that Brenna receives is from the stone angels in the local cemetery, where Brenna spends her nights. Oh and she can see dead people.
When I read the summary with the book, I wasn’t sure about it. I wrote my own above that I think suites the book better. Really the book is more about Brenna and the town where the murder took place. White Bird is a huge part of it too. The idea that Bre is different is also a part but not necessarily because she can see dead people. That talent doesn’t play a big role in things beyond the fact that it is a symptom of Brenna’s “gift”. I love paranormal but not so much with ghosts. But while there are some ghosts in this book, they aren’t major players. What I love about this book was the world that Jordan Dane created; a small town with a sheriff that thought he was doing the right thing but was really the classic small town sheriff, the really mean girl that ran the local group of kids, the ridiculous prejudice that is out of control, and the girl Brenna who doesn’t put up with any of it. I loved how we got to know White Bird even though he was catatonic. His sweet gentle personality was fascinating. I found myself wishing for more flashbacks so I could spend more time with him. I also loved Joe. Joe is the Euchee healer and Brenna attempts to get his help for White Bird. All of the characters create a dark and brilliant mystery.
There are some unresolved questions in the book that are still plaguing me. They’re just little things but it makes me wonder if there will be a sequel. I wonder a lot about Brenna’s dad. Is he the reason she has this “gift”. And what will she do with this “gift” now? A couple of other things are too spoiler to say but I am hoping for a sequel to resolve them all.
Pick this one up, it’s a great read.
Enjoy the read.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Everything I Was by Corinne Demas
Irene is 13 years old and her life is suddenly thrown into radical change. Her father loses his high paying job to downsizing and her mother has spent all of their money. They leave their penthouse apartment in New York to move in with her Grandpa in the country. Irene’s mother is miserable while her father is trying to make the best of things. Irene misses her friends but accepts the changes. She loves the flower farm her Grandpa lives on and loves to work with him in the greenhouse. She meets new friends and develops a crush on Jim. But when it comes time to move back to the city, she isn’t sure she wants to go.
This is clearly a pre-teen book. I was captured by the cover, which is intriguing, and the cover summary didn’t make it clear that this was about a 13 year old. I was disappointed that it seemed to be about a high school student until you were 3 or 4 chapters in. I am a middle school teacher and I teach 13 and 14 year olds. Irene is like no 13 year old I have ever met. She lets life happen to her without a lot of comment. Her parents decide things for her, which she doesn’t like, but she doesn’t say anything about it. I find this incredible. Every student I have ever had is very vocal about things that affect them personally. I have seen them with their parents and with their friends. If they don’t like it, you know it. Irene wasn’t like that. Her whole personality seemed hollow. A lot of the characters in this book had hollow personalities. I thought the Fox family was very hollow, even the love interest Jim. Irene’s Grandpa was very genuine and I liked him. Her parents were real, even though I really didn’t understand why they were together.
The plot was lacking. The conflict in the story was minimal with an obvious solution, which is how the book ended. There were so many great scenes that could have been but weren’t there. There was one time that there could have been a great conversation between Irene and Jim but we just heard about it after the fact. I was very disappointed by that. It happened a lot. Many chapters ended at a key point only to have the next chapter be the next day or even later with little or no understanding about how the last one ended. It’s too bad because they could have been great scenes.
The ending was weird. It was all of a sudden there. A couple of months of time summarized after the resolution of the book. Again too many scenes were left out that could have made this book much better. Certainly, preteens will enjoy this book but it’s not for readers over the age of 13.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
13 to Life by Shannon Delany
Jessica’s is struggling to deal with the death of her mother. Her father works a lot and her sister is always buried in a book. One friend is dealing with her own problems and the other one doesn’t understand why Jessica has to be the martyr. Jessica has had a crush on the running back on the football team for a while but she isn’t in his league. He’s never given her the time of day until the new boy Pietr takes notice of her. She is chosen to show Pietr around and he makes it clear what he thinks of her interest in the football player. But Jessica’s friend likes Pietr so that can’t work either. Will Jessica every find peace in her life? Can she hold things together as she is wrongfully accused of wrongdoing by the Principal? Will her Dad understand her constant lying? As things get darker in her small town, will she even survive to seventeen?
Shannon Delany does a great job of giving the readers bits and pieces of the history of the characters without just summarizing it. The complexity of the plot is reveled slowly over many chapters. The reader is trying to guess what happened to Jessica’s Mom and what is Sarah’s recuperating from. I really enjoyed this aspect of the book. It added a lot of mystery. I loved that fact that Jessica’s football player crush finally notices her when Pietr does. I’m still curious about a lot of things that I hope get addressed in the second book in the series but enough was resolved in this book to keep me happy. There was no frustrating cliffhanger that might cause me throw the book across the room.
I loved the world that was created for this book. It’s not your normal paranormal world. There is this great Russian aspect to the book and even some mob activity. I admit that they threw me for a while in the book. I was trying to figure out the connection between the Russian mob and the wolf attack. I admit that I was surprised by the twist near the end. I didn’t see it coming at all and I normally at least have a hint. I am really too good at guessing in these kinds of books.
I loved the interaction between Pietr and Jess. I wonder what created that strong connection, it’s one of my lingering questions. It seems that there has to be something to explain the connection especially with the Matryoshka dolls.
I will admit that I got lost a few times. Some things were assumed and I had to re-read parts to understand but it felt like a challenge not a problem. Loved this one. Check it out.
Enjoy the read!
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
Calla is a shifter. She turns into a beautiful alpha wolf. Her whole life she has prepared for her seventeenth birthday when she would be mated to the gorgeous alpha wolf, Ren. The rules say that she doesn’t date, isn’t even kissed until that time. Calla has always followed the rules. She serves the keepers, guarding the sacred sites. But then she breaks a rule. She saves a hot human boy who is where he shouldn’t be on a hike.
I loved the strong female character in Calla. I loved the story. What a beautiful world Andrea Cremer has created in this book. I loved the shifters with a purpose aspects of the book. I loved the different packs that didn’t really mix well at times. I loved the mystery. It is a beautiful story. I did get a little frustrated with Ren. I thought he should have fought harder for what was rightfully his as the male alpha. I hope that fight isn't over. I loved Shay. What a determined and strong young man. I liked that. Sometimes, authors make the guys weak when there is such a strong female as Calla but Andrea didn’t do that. I loved that there were lots of strong characters. The writing was brilliant full of twists and turns. I have read it twice and can't wait for the next one.
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Wednesday, February 2, 2011
White Cat by Holly Black
Cassel is the youngest son of a family of curse workers, only he isn’t one of them. Curse working is illegal and his mother is in jail for it. His older brothers are working, skirting the law. Cassel has his own secrets. He runs an illegal betting pool in his fancy private school. Oh and yea, he killed the girl he loved a few years back. His family found him holding the knife with a smile on his face over her dead body. They got rid of the body. They covered for him. He is constantly guilty about it. He doesn’t know why he did it. He can’t remember. But he’s at school now, where he hides from his past and no one knows about his shady past. Then he wakes up on the roof of the school. He was sleepwalking during a bad dream. A white cat cut out his tongue and ran with it. He ends up on the roof. The school thinks he was trying to kill himself so they send him home. But that cat keeps turning up, the one from his dream. What is really going on? Questions mount and Cassel can’t trust anyone to help him figure out what the answers are.
My thoughts: 4 stars
Okay, this isn’t my type of book. I shouldn’t like this book. Yes it’s got some paranormal aspects to it and I love those books but it’s also about con-artists and mobsters. It’s full of criminal activities. Not my normal type of book. It did take me a while to get into it. The plot is very complex. The world building is done on the fly. The reader has to catch up with what’s going on as the story unfolds. I put it down lots of times before I finally finished it. I think that it was Cassel that finally hooked me. I like him. He worries about this life he was born into. He knows right from wrong. He tries to rebuild his life at school without the con or workers. He feels bad when his two worlds overlap. He tries to do what’s right by his family even when they aren’t doing the same for him. Now that I am hooked, I look back on the book and realize that I needed the time to absorb all that Holly Black had created. But I know that world now and I love the idea of it. The ending broke my heart. Love that and hate that about a book. I might have to send evil hex out for Holly if she does that again in the sequel, Red Glove. J I read chapter two of the sequel and I can’t wait to find out what happens next for Cassel.
Enjoy the read!