I heard about this book before it even had a cover, and because it had a serial killer in it I knew I just had to read it. I have Susanne's first novel, The Other Life, because along with an addiction to any book that has a serial killer (or a killer in general) in it, I love a book that has zombies and/or any kind of mutant virus in it. This being said I haven't read Susanne's first novel (bad me). I went into this novel with pretty high expectations, because when you say "serial killer" I expect blood, gore, mystery, and well, dead bodies, so when I started it and found that the first page pulled me in I knew I had picked up something good. Sometimes I think I make up my mind about a book from the first few chapters (although I almost always finish them, regardless of whether I enjoy them or not), and the first few chapters of this book were just as good as the rest of them. The plot was pleasantly original, although there were elements from other books out there (but what book is wholly original in today's world? If you actually name a book you're lying), and the characters were loads of fun. It's always great to read about characters with mutant powers because, let's face it, we've ALL wanted to be able to walk through walls or be as strong as an ox at one point or another in our lives. There was also an underlying message that I thought said that you need to learn how to be yourself, how to be COMFORTABLE being yourself, because that is never going to change (although I could have just made that up completely). I can't wait for the next book to see where the story goes from here, because I'm sure the next book will be just as exciting, if not more so. I got vibes of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Criminal Minds, and of course one of my favorite book series ever, The Body Finder series by Kimberly Derting, so fans of crime drama's and paranormal romance will just eat this book up. The boys are swoon-worthy, the powers are super cool, the mystery keeps you guessing until the last second, and some dead bodies for the men who might pick it up.
Out May 28, 2013
5/5 dust spirits
*I traded an ARC I got at ALA in return from this one, but my review is still completely honest and was not paid for in any way.
I bought this book used when it first came out but it ended up being relegated to my basement, which is generally where books go to sit unread. But then I saw that Jessi was coming here for part of her group tour and I decided that I would read this book because it was short and Trish Doller (author of Something Like Normal) recommended it to me. Although I have Jessi's fist novel I hadn't read it, so I wasn't entirely sure what I was getting into, I knew the basic premise of the book and I knew that it was a contemporary novel, but beyond that I wasn't sure what the story would turn into. First I think I have to talk about the little aspects of the book that I just adored. One was the HUGE number of Supernatural references. I'm not 100% positive that Jessi watches the show, but all of the little hints to it made just made me SO happy, because that's a show that I really enjoy. The other thing I liked was that the singer reminded me of Taylor Swift (although that could just be me), I just thought that was neat. In terms of plot I was pleased, there was emotion to it and it wasn't one of those books that was just fluff (but don't get me wrong, I love fluff books from time to time, but there's a time and a place for them). I also found myself rather pleased with the somewhat LACK of a romantic plot. Usually I love a good romance in a book, the swoony boy (don't worry, there is one), and the sexy times, you can't not love them, but that wasn't the point of the book. I'm sure some authors would have made it more about the romance, but I didn't mind the fact that it "lacked" that aspect. It was a powerful book at it's heart, and although the ending was rather open-ended I though that also fit with the overall plot and theme of the story. If you're looking for a good down-to-earth book that is a whirlwind of emotion and is more REAL than some of the other contemporary books out there I would highly suggest you take a look at this one, because it's fresh.
Years ago I was looking around the teen section at a local B&N and I saw a book that's cover was a chunk of flesh floating in a jar being held up by a hand, so of course I had to buy it. I started that book (The Monstrumologist) a few times but I was so busy at the time I couldn't get into it. This book was a big feature at ALA Midwinter though, so I picked up a copy, and when EVERY children's bookseller at a local indie store loved this book I knew I had to read it. Sadly I didn't get to read it before it came out, but I jumped on it when I could, and I was very pleased. Personally I'm a fan of spooky things, horror movies, books that give you the heebie-jeebies, TV shows that curl your toes, you name it I'll give it a shot. So when I saw the trailers (they're awesome, go watch them) and I started reading the book I was pretty much hooked. I was also pleasantly surprised by the change in POV in each section of the book, I wasn't expecting it at all, but I found that it was a nice addition and enhanced the story. Although this is a book that's more sci-fi/horror there are some really deep lines that I just adored. The plot is intricately woven so that eventually all of the POVs in the book convene, and despite being about aliens there's an underlying theme of humanity and what makes us human. This is one of those books that starts out with action and never lets up, and there are also some moments that aren't for the weak of heart or stomach, but I enjoyed it. Another great thing about this book is the fact that either gender can read and enjoy it, because there are POVs from both genders, and on top of the blood and gore there's some kissing and fuzzy feelings. This might end up being a favorite of the year, and I highly encourage all of you to give it a shot by thumbing through some pages or checking out the e-sampler. Next year can't come soon enough for me because I want to see what happens next in the fight for humanity.
5/5 dust spirits
*Thank you to Putnam Juvenile for providing me with an ARC (via ALA Midwinter) of this book in return for an honest review.
I first heard about this book when the announcement was made in the publishing world, and because I love Andrea Cremer and David Levithan I knew I just had to read it. When I saw it at ALA Midwinter I knew I had to get a copy and then when I saw that Andrea and David were stopping here on their tour I knew I had to get to reading it sooner rather than later. This is one of those books that, if you look at reviews on goodreads, is controversial About half of the people who read it love it, and the other half were not impressed. Seeing as I'm me and I like pretty much every book that I read I was one of those people who fell into the first half. Personally I enjoyed the writing style of both authors and thought that they fit the characters exceptionally well. This may be because of the fact that after hearing the read I was just amazed at how much they WERE the characters. I enjoyed Elizabeth's spunk and Stephen's insight-fullness, the fact that they were both REAL characters. The intricacies of the curses and the world that both authors created was so finely done that it was fascinating to watch as things were revealed piece by piece. Sometimes I feel that endings are too easy. Not in terms of writing them or reading them, or even living them, but I feel there are authors that take the easy way out and, despite everything they put their characters through they don't want to leave them miserable, leave them semi-broken, because who wants to read a book, to live a life, with no happy ending. But sometimes I think that in the end things aren't supposed to right themselves, that despite a struggle that's awful, things don't turn out movie-perfect in the end, and I think that Andrea and David did that really well in this book, while keeping the hope alive for the characters. That isn't to say that I don't want to see a sequel, because I do, I would love to see where these two authors take these two characters because they have the potential to continue their story, although if this is where things end I can live with that. If you're looking for something a little different I think you'll enjoy this book, boys and girls alike, although I would suggest reading the first two chapters to see how you personally will like it. That being said, I'm excited to see if these two authors write another book together, whether it's a sequel or just another book in general, because in my opinion they just flow together, and that's something that shouldn't be lost.
When I heard about this book I was so excited, because really, it sounded so amazing, so bad-ass. So at ALA I decided to ask if they had a copy, and indeed they did, so I just had to pick up a copy, but before I knew it the release date was upon me, so I had to scurry to read it. I've always been a fan of fast-paced books, books with fierce female characters and dead people, so the moment I cracked the spine (not literally, I hate doing that, it ruins the book) there was no doubt in my mind that I would end up loving this book. Sometimes I think that all we as a society today are interested in is action and violence (and sex) which means that our media reflects this, and while Reboot does have these things there's something underneath it all that speaks to something more. It speaks to humanity and what makes us human, along with how we can bring ourselves back from dark places. In some ways I can even see it working at being comfortable with who you are and accepting yourself and others as well as working to be the best you out there. There's also a plague, the equivalent of super zombies, a dystopian feel (controlling government and broken Earth), and Texas as the last state functioning in the United States. Add ALL of these things up (and mix in some kissing) you get a novel that's fresh but speaks to fans of The Hunger Games that hits the ground running and never lets up. I can't wait to see what Amy comes up with next, because I'm pretty sure I'll read whatever this author writes (I've also given her some things to think about in the world of her creation).
Out May 7, 2013
5/5 dust spirits
*Thanks to Harper Teen for providing me (via ALA Midwinter) an ARC of this book in return for an honest review.
Ohmysweetgoodness. So last year I read Anna's debut novel Of Poseidon and I just fell in love with it. I read it in a day and adored everything about it; the characters, the plot, the dialogue, the sexy, ALL of it. The ending left me gaping and I needed the next one right away, so when I went to ALA Midwinter the other weekend my first goal was to get THIS BOOK (mission accomplished, btw). After I finished the book I was reading at the time I hopped on this one like a pug on food (for those of you who are unfamiliar pugs LOVE food), and I wasn't disappointed with the outcome. So often I read a second book in a series (it's going to be a trilogy now!!!) and am a little underwhelmed, but despite this being different from the first one it retained the snark and humor (and romance). We get to dive deeper into the Syrena's world, we also get to see more of characters we were introduced to in the first book, and the conflict is resolved (so I can see that this was originally going to be the last book, but knowing Anna she will make MORE problems for our fishy friends to face in BOOK THREE!). I also enjoyed seeing the main characters from book one mature as the story continued, which can fail to happen in some books. All of this being said the only thing regret is that I read it so early, and no I will have to wait that much longer to see how it all ends. Personally I hope to see more of all of the characters in the last book, along with more sexy times and a continuation of Banks' signature humor. Should I ever manage to write a book of my own I would not be upset to find my book coming out anything like this one, because while not being about anything we know to be true it's one of those books that I can't help but enjoy, and it will be worth several re-reads in my life (also, it makes great presents for my loved ones)!
Out May 28, 2013
5/5 dust spirits
*Thank you to MacMillan (Feiwel & Friends) for giving me a review copy in return for an honest review [via ALA Midwinter].
This was one of those really big titles at ALA midwinter this year, and I was super excited to get my hands on it because I really enjoyed the books that Margaret had co-written with Kami Garcia. When I read the back of the book I was really excited because the premise sounded really entertaining. Although when I finally dug into what was INSIDE I was slightly less than impressed. I'm not sure WHAT, but it felt like something was missing, not in terms of the writing (someone joked that it was another author), but more in terms of plot or character. I can't put my finger on it specifically, so I can't tell you what it was that put me off, but it just didn't seem like it was all that if could have been. If I HAD to put it into words I would say it was a combination of how unknown the aliens were, although that was probably on purpose, but put it together with the fact that I was expecting a little more action,and maybe some more romance that MIGHT be what didn't do it for me. Now, don't get me wrong, it was an okay book, enjoyable, interesting, original, if not somewhat confusing. The concept was really great, and I loved all of the little top secret communications before/after each chapter because it was different. In my opinion there is a very fine line between giving the reader too much information and giving them not enough, and in this case Margaret didn't, in my opinion, give us enough information. As a whole the novel was enjoyable but not something that I would consider a must buy book. It may appeal to those of you who enjoyed Margaret's first novels as well as people who are looking for an alien novel geared towards a YA audience that's more about secrets than the fear of an invasion. I'll probably pick up the sequel when it comes out, but it won't be at the top of my list.
Out May 7, 2013
4/5 dust spirits
*Thank you to Little, Brown for providing me with an ARC (via ALA midwinter) in return for an honest review.