Category: YA

Book Review – Raising Stony Mayhall by Daryl Gregory

Posted October 9, 2011 by Bonnie in Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA / 1 Comment

Book Review – Raising Stony Mayhall by Daryl GregoryRaising Stony Mayhall by Daryl Gregory
Published by Del Rey on June 28, 2011
Pages: 449
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Horror
Format: eBook
Source: Gifted
Amazon
Goodreads


three-stars

In 1968, after the first zombie outbreak, Wanda Mayhall and her three young daughters discover the body of a teenage mother during a snowstorm. Wrapped in the woman’s arms is a baby, stone-cold, not breathing, and without a pulse. But then his eyes open and look up at Wanda — and he begins to move.

The family hides the child — whom they name Stony — rather than turn him over to authorities that would destroy him. Against all scientific reason, the undead boy begins to grow. For years his adoptive mother and sisters manage to keep his existence a secret — until one terrifying night when Stony is forced to run and he learns that he is not the only living dead boy left in the world.

In Part I, the Mayhall family find a woman long dead on the side of the road with a baby wrapped up inside her coat. Shortly after, Wanda Mayhall realizes what he really is, yet decides that they are going to keep him anyways and hide him from the world. We watch Stony change and literally grow from a baby into a young man just as any normal living human being does. We watch him become an integral part of the Mayhall family and develop into his own unique person. This was my favorite part of the novel.

Following Part I, which I was absolutely in love with, there was a major shift in the story and I wasn’t exactly on board with it. It became overly political, it became slightly philosophical, and I realize in retrospect that this was the world that the author was creating but it wasn’t exactly how I thought the story was going to go (or how I would have preferred it to go). I did enjoy the scientific aspects of the story and how the Living Dead were researching to find out what made them the way they are and what made it possible.

’Here was Thomas’s blood before he died, six hours after the bite: perfectly normal. And here was Thomas’s blood after he passed, at the 6:12 mark: dark, viscous, waxy. The transformation had occurred between observations, like the state change in a quantum particle. Like death itself.’

Many parts of this book required a certain amount of imagination. The idea behind the zombies in this book was that “Consciousness was the key.” At one point Stony explains how he once removed one of his toes and yet it still failed to decompose even though it was completely separated from his body. Once the toe was finally off his mind and he had failed to continue checking on it and thinking about it, only then did it finally start rotting and decomposing. I found this to be quite an interesting concept yet extremely hard to understand. Was that the only thing that kept these zombies ‘alive’? That if they had stopped thinking about themselves as a living dead person would they simply cease to exist?

’Where one dead thing ended and another began was largely a problem of perception and definition.’

I was overall disappointed with this book; however, I think that was largely because I was expecting something different entirely. I thought the storyline with the LD ‘governments’ and the plans being hatched by them was pretty strange and largely unbelievable. I had a hard time understanding where all the money came from… how one person could be the sole benefactor of so many. Also, the ending was inevitable but a bit too anticlimactic I thought. I loved Stony in the beginning but I was pretty disappointed at how the rest of the story unfolded.

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Book Review – Meridian (Fenestra #1) by Amber Kizer

Posted September 26, 2011 by Bonnie in Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA / 0 Comments

Book Review – Meridian (Fenestra #1) by Amber KizerMeridian by Amber Kizer
Series: Fenestra #1
Published by Delacorte Press on July 28, 2009
Pages: 322
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


two-half-stars

Half-human, half-angel, Meridian Sozu has a dark responsibility.

Sixteen-year-old Meridian has been surrounded by death ever since she can remember. As a child, insects, mice, and salamanders would burrow into her bedclothes and die. At her elementary school, she was blamed for a classmate’s tragic accident. And on her sixteenth birthday, a car crashes in front of her family home—and Meridian’s body explodes in pain.

Before she can fully recover, Meridian is told that she’s a danger to her family and hustled off to her great-aunt’s house in Revelation, Colorado. It’s there that she learns that she is a Fenestra—the half-angel, half-human link between the living and the dead. But Meridian and her sworn protector and love, Tens, face great danger from the Aternocti, a band of dark forces who capture vulnerable souls on the brink of death and cause chaos.

You can’t help but be intrigued by the summary: “As a child, insects, mice, and salamanders would burrow into her bedclothes and die.” Whaaaaatt??? Creepy right? I totally loved the introduction into the story, loved learning about her childhood and all that she had to endure as her parents never fully understood her.

On her sixteenth birthday when she witnesses a tragic car accident right in front of her house, her parents proceed to tell her that she must leave town immediately to stay with her great-aunt in Colorado. And… that’s about where it went downhill and into predictable-YA land for me.

Now don’t get me wrong, this is an extremely interesting story and I was extremely interested in learning all about ‘Fenestra’s’ and I loved how even though the story obviously has to do with angels it didn’t go overtly religious and the author had the decency to not associate angels strictly with Christianity.

The main problem I had was the main character was your typical annoying and immature YA character; she pretty much drove me crazy. The other problem I had was even as interesting as the story was to me, the actual writing kind of fell flat for me, was a bit choppy, and overall predictable. The fact that I enjoyed it as much as I did regardless of the problems I had with it I would still be interested in picking up the next in this series to see where the author continues to take this story.

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Book Review – Red Glove (Curse Workers #2) by Holly Black

Posted September 26, 2011 by Bonnie in Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA / 1 Comment

Book Review – Red Glove (Curse Workers #2) by Holly BlackRed Glove by Holly Black
Series: Curse Workers #2
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on April 5, 2011
Pages: 352
Genres: Romance, Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: White Cat

four-stars

After rescuing his brothers from Zacharov's retribution and finding out that Lila, the girl he has loved his whole life, will never, ever be his now that his mother has worked her, Cassel is trying to reestablish some kind of normalcy in his life. That was never going to be easy for someone from a worker family tied to one of the big crime families and a mother whose cons get more reckless by the day. But Cassel is also coming to terms with what it means to be a transformation worker and figuring out how to have friends.

But normal doesn't last very long-soon Cassel is being courted by both sides of the law and is forced to confront his past. A past he remembers only in scattered fragments and one that could destroy his family and his future. Cassel will have to decide whose side he wants to be on because neutrality is not an option. And then he will have to pull off his biggest con ever to survive.

Curse Workers series

White Cat (Curse Workers, #1)

White Cat (Curse Workers #1) {My Review}

Cassel is now not only fully aware of his powers but fully in control (which definitely added some interesting to this sequel.) He’s glad to have Lila back in his life again; however, when his mother decides to give him a ‘gift’ by working Lila to love him. Now he’s left unsure of her feelings, whether it’s simply a result of her being worked or if the curse wore off and she really does feel that way. Feeling conflicted he feels he’s left with no other choice but to try to keep his distance from her.

I didn’t enjoy this one as much as I did White Cat, but I still managed to read this book in approximately 5 hours if that’s any indication. Still gets a solid 4 stars out of me. I felt that Red Glove focused a bit more on the ‘mob’ portion of the story and kinda left the magic portion in the dust. In Red Glove, the big mystery revolves around the recent death of Cassel’s oldest brother. Then the Feds come to him because they believe he has knowledge that would help in their investigation and also in their investigation regarding several deaths of other individuals… but Cassel thinks he knows exactly what happened to them, he’s just been worked to forget.

Then there was the ‘Lila’s been worked’ storyline. I really hated that story line and I REALLY hated the resolution to that whole bit… like really hated it.

Regardless, I can’t wait for the next in this series (and last one too from what I hear) comes out…

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Early Review – Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

Posted September 24, 2011 by Bonnie in Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2011, YA / 4 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – Graffiti Moon by Cath CrowleyGraffiti Moon by Cath Crowley
Published by Knopf on February 14, 2012
Pages: 274
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads


four-half-stars

"Let me make it in time. Let me meet Shadow. The guy who paints in the dark. Paints birds trapped on brick walls and people lost in ghost forests. Paints guys with grass growing from their hearts and girls with buzzing lawn mowers."

It’s the end of Year 12. Lucy’s looking for Shadow, the graffiti artist everyone talks about.

His work is all over the city, but he is nowhere.

Ed, the last guy she wants to see at the moment, says he knows where to find him. He takes Lucy on an all-night search to places where Shadow’s thoughts about heartbreak and escape echo around the city walls.

But the one thing Lucy can’t see is the one thing that’s right before her eyes.

Storyline
Lucy has just graduated high school and all she wants to do is find Shadow. Shadow, the graffiti artist who’s been putting his art up all over town. His art makes Lucy think that he’s someone she wants to meet, someone she wants to know, and someone she really wants to connect with. Everyone talks about him but nobody has ever seen him, but Lucy is feeling confident and sets out in search for him one night.

Lucy and Ed
Reading about Lucy and Ed and hearing Lucy gush about Shadow having no idea she was actually talking to me was beyond charming. Those two together were plain adorable and I loved their interactions.

”You know, Leo’s brother’s hooking me up with a car when I get my license. I’m making you get in while it’s moving.”
“You’ll drive me places?”
“If your aerobic fitness is up to it, sure I’ll drive you places.”

Ed is constantly trying to act like he doesn’t like Lucy when in fact he can’t get her off his mind. Lucy can’t seem to make up her mind how she feels about Ed, especially after their disastrous first date from years back. All she can do is continue to talk about Shadow… I couldn’t wait till she finally found out he’d been in front of her the entire time.

‘I stand behind her, watching her watching my work. I feel like I’m shedding skin, feel like if she turns she’ll see a skeleton man behind her and then she’ll know. But she doesn’t.’

Ed was an amazing character. Here’s this kid who dropped out of high school because he has difficulty reading and he started working at a paint store. The girl he broke up with a few months prior was somebody he had really cared for; however, he knew that they didn’t have a future together because of who he is: a nobody. After he loses his job when his boss dies his paintings are all he has left. I couldn’t help feeling incredibly sad for him, wishing that he had more faith in his abilities.

‘But then I think about her finding out I’m Shadow. I think about her being disappointed because I’m a guy going nowhere, not a guy who’s sensitive and smart and funny. I think about her going to college and making glass and me staying where I am spraying walls and scraping rent.’

Friendships
Even though the story was semi-centered around Lucy and Ed, I still managed to grow some fuzzy feelings for the side characters as well. Jazz was great and I loved the relationship between Lucy and Jazz; two people so alike yet still so different.

“You should feel it like a horse tumbling through you,” I said to Jazz.
“You’re weird,” she said, falling asleep. “But that’s okay. It makes me seem normal.”

Wrap Up
I loved this author’s style of writing with her overlapping switch-ups in POV… I’ll be looking for more of her books, most definitely. Not only did it hook me in, but it made me feel. But it’s not all sad… I laughed, I smiled, I sighed. So essentially I hope this review makes at this one reader pick this book up, because it’s truly a great book that is definitely deserving of your time.

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Book Review – White Cat (Curse Workers #1) by Holly Black

Posted September 19, 2011 by Bonnie in Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA / 1 Comment

Book Review – White Cat (Curse Workers #1) by Holly BlackWhite Cat by Holly Black
Series: Curse Workers #1
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on May 4th 2010
Pages: 320
Genres: Romance, Urban Fantasy
Format: ARC
Source: a Giveaway
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Red Glove

four-half-stars

Cassel comes from a family of Curse Workers - people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they're all criminals. Many become mobsters and con artists. But not Cassel. He hasn't got magic, so he's an outsider, the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore one small detail - he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago.

Cassel has carefully built up a facade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his facade starts to crumble when he finds himself sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat that wants to tell him something. He's noticing other disturbing things too, including the strange behavior of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him. As Cassel begins to suspect he's part of a huge con game, he must unravel his past and his memories. To find out the truth, Cassel will have to out-con the conmen.

The Storyline
Cassel was born into a family of curse workers; however, he’s the outsider of the family… the one born without magic. Not to say he’s perfect…he’s become quite the con man at school and plus he did kill his best friend Lila and has lived with the guilt for the past 3 years. While at school he begins having dreams where he’s visited by a white cat that obviously wants to tell him something but Cassel isn’t paying that much attention… I mean it is just a dream, right? And there’s something stirring within his own family but he’s kept out of it because he isn’t one of them. Everyone’s keeping him in the dark and as he realizes they’ve been lying to him, he starts determining what exactly they’ve been keeping from him.

The Family
I found this whole aspect to be quite sad, yet a vital part of explaining why Cassel is who he is. His mother is in prison for ‘working’ a man into giving her thousands of dollars. His brother Phillip pretty much works for the mob because he has the power to break bones and hurt people simply with the touch of his finger. His brother Barron is the one he’s most close with but throughout the novel they grow distant. Cassel is literally the outsider in the family and is left out from all conversations regarding curse work because he’s technically not one of them.

My Thoughts
This is one brilliantly original novel and I loved it! I read this quickly and loved every minute of it. The characters were great, I loved the overall sense of humor, and the overall story is just completely unique that I couldn’t help but fall in head first. Cassel was my favorite character. I loved his sense of humor, I loved how he handled his own business, I loved how he wasn’t your typical whiny teenage boy, but I also loved that he came across as completely unpretentious. Quite rare, I’ve found, in YA novels that the characters in the end feel as if they were real people (regardless of all the magic involved.)

Overall
Well I’m starting Red Glove right away if that’s any indication. 🙂

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Book Review – Hold Me Closer, Necromancer (Necromancer #1) by Lish McBride

Posted August 30, 2011 by Bonnie in Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA / 0 Comments

Book Review – Hold Me Closer, Necromancer (Necromancer #1) by Lish McBrideHold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride
Series: Necromancer #1
Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) on October 12, 2010
Pages: 352
Genres: Fantasy, Funny-ha-ha, Paranormal
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


four-stars

Sam leads a pretty normal life. He may not have the most exciting job in the world, but he’s doing all right—until a fast food prank brings him to the attention of Douglas, a creepy guy with an intense violent streak.

Turns out Douglas is a necromancer who raises the dead for cash and sees potential in Sam. Then Sam discovers he’s a necromancer too, but with strangely latent powers. And his worst nightmare wants to join forces . . . or else.

With only a week to figure things out, Sam needs all the help he can get. Luckily he lives in Seattle, which has nearly as many paranormal types as it does coffee places. But even with newfound friends, will Sam be able to save his skin?

This book was great, highly enjoyable, and extremely funny. And it had EVERYTHING! Usually when an author throws in an odd assortment of paranormal creatures it tends to get a little messy and slightly corny; however, Lish McBride totally made it work. I mean we’ve got some necromancers, werewolves, zombie pandas, lawn gnomes came to life and poked people with tiny shovels, there was a tiny flying dragon, and even a talking severed head. As Sam states so eloquently, “Once a severed head talks, life’s possibilities seem endless.”

This was a thrill ride and highly addictive read… it may have taken me forever and a day to finish this but only because of my current schedule so don’t let that deter you. The best part about this book were the characters… these were people that you totally wanted to personally befriend. Brooke was my favorite because she was a total smart ass and full of spirit. The main character, Sam, was awesome and very realistic as far as paranormal stories go. This story was really about him finding himself and who he is (after feeling lost for so long). His is a great story.

This book doesn’t have any cliffhanger or anything even though this is the first book in a planned series. The next book comes out May 2012 so mark your calendars! (And get this one read ahead of time). 🙂

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Book Review – Angelfall (Penryn and the End of Days #1) by Susan Ee

Posted August 13, 2011 by Bonnie in Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA / 2 Comments

Book Review – Angelfall (Penryn and the End of Days #1) by Susan EeAngelfall by Susan Ee
Series: Penryn & the End of Days #1
Published by Self-Published on May 21st 2011
Pages: 288
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Fantasy, Horror, Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Gifted
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: World After

five-stars

It's been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels' stronghold in San Francisco where she'll risk everything to rescue her sister and he'll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

What an outstanding debut novel by Susan Ee! Don’t be fooled by the pretty glittery cover, or even the title of the book, or the fact that people are calling this young adult, or the fact that you think ‘ooh! It has angels in it!’ so you automatically think of something like this:

This is dark fantasy straight up, nothing cute or froo froo about this. And MAN was it awesome!

This was a marvelous novel that hooked me from the beginning. From the very first page you’re thrust into the gloomy post-apocalyptic society that Earth has become since the angels of the apocalypse invaded 6 weeks ago. The main character Penryn is in charge of protecting her seven year old paralyzed sister Paige and their schizophrenic mother. Penryn’s purpose in life at this point is to do nothing but protect them and she’s completely devastated when her sister is kidnapped by the angels. She proceeds to do whatever necessary to get her sister back and get her back quick when she resorts to teaming up with another angel, Raffe, and makes a deal with him so he will take her to the angels aerie.

Pendryn is a total badass and I loved her. She could totally hold her own, she knew what it took to survive… she was one tough cookie.

High Points
Okay, so, with most books these days where there’s a side story that involves a ‘romance’ it usually tends to sway towards instalove. I. Hate. Instalove. It’s corny, irritating, and it makes me want to pull my hair out. I am pleased to inform you all that I did not hate the way Penryn and Raffe’s relationship progressed; it ended up being quite realistic and believable. *phew* What a relief.

About the last 20% of the book, things started happening that were CRAZY! I mean seriously dark twisted crazy ass shit. No morphing into a YA teenage melodrama here yippee! I don’t want to give anything away so I’ll just leave it at that.

The ending was well timed and it wasn’t a cliffhanger that made me turn into a crazed madman that made me need to know more NOW. I mean the book has to end somewhere and I think that was an appropriate place to do it. I did end this book and proceeded to frantically search for any future released dates of book 2. Alas, I failed to find any but I will definitely be on the lookout, no doubt about that. There are several questions that I’m dying to have answered View Spoiler »

I’d like to take a moment to thank Michelle for not only convincing me to read this but also loaning it to me. You’re the best. 🙂

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Book Review – The Reapers Are the Angels (Reapers #1) by Alden Bell

Posted August 11, 2011 by Bonnie in Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA / 4 Comments

Book Review – The Reapers Are the Angels (Reapers #1) by Alden BellThe Reapers Are the Angels by Alden Bell
Series: Reapers #1
Published by Holt Paperbacks on August 3, 2010
Pages: 240
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Horror, Zombies
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


four-stars

Zombies have infested a fallen America. A young girl named Temple is on the run. Haunted by her past and pursued by a killer, Temple is surrounded by death and danger, hoping to be set free.

For twenty-five years, civilization has survived in meager enclaves, guarded against a plague of the dead. Temple wanders this blighted landscape, keeping to herself and keeping her demons inside her heart. She can't remember a time before the zombies, but she does remember an old man who took her in and the younger brother she cared for until the tragedy that set her on a personal journey toward redemption. Moving back and forth between the insulated remnants of society and the brutal frontier beyond, Temple must decide where ultimately to make a home and find the salvation she seeks.

This contains some spoilers and is a bit of an ‘all over the place’ type of review. I had a hard time gathering all of my thoughts into an organized review.

The world that Temple lives in is the only world she’s ever known. She never lived in a world where there weren’t any zombies, a world where everyone was peaceful and didn’t have to wake up and fighting to survive each and every day.

“The world, it treats you kind enough so long as you’re not fightin against it.”

Temple is a great character. She somewhat reminds me of Saba from Blood Red Road, but Temple seems to have a better grasp of the English language. She’s a survivor and definitely far beyond her years; I never would have pegged her to be 15. This is obviously due to the world she’s had to live in, the things she’s had to do to survive, and the things she’s had to experience. She’s a very emotional character and it’s quite sad how she keeps it all inside.

She ends up on the run from Moses Todd after accidentally killing his brother. I was a bit upset at that whole aspect of the story because it lacked a purpose. He became intent on killing Temple as retribution for his brother but there seemed to be another reason entirely that was never explained and something I never ended up understanding. I really wish the ending had been different… it ended up being an awkward piece that didn’t quite fit the rest of the puzzle.

High Points
The author’s writing is outstanding. Even though this seems to be your typical end of world/zombie novel where it’s not another person out there trying to survive… it’s not. It’s another book where I would say it’s not even a zombie novel per say, it’s a novel about survival (not just from zombies) and about living.

Temple is the main focus and what a great character she was; definitely a multi-faceted character with each new facet a new surprise. Don’t take her at face value – she’s more than meets the eye.

Low Points
I enjoyed this book. That said I love books that have fabulous world building that manage to completely absorb me into the story. This book lacks any sort of world building so that was kind of disappointing for me. When reading a new dystopian novel I always find it interesting to see how the author decides to create the world and how the world came to be how it is. A lot of things weren’t exactly explained and I ended up questioning a lot of it: how she’s able to stop at several gas stations and there are peanut butter crackers, how she’s also able to stop at several gas stations and be able to fill up her car, how do people have electric fences set up around their property, and where did they get the chicken, peaches, and everything else for dinner?? And will somebody please explain to me the tracker used on Temple’s car?

Like other reviewers, I had a big problem with the lack of quotation marks. At times the author would get so into describing things and situations that when someone would start speaking I’d have no clue and be so confused I’d have to backtrack to figure out what the hell was going on. At first I thought that it was an issue with my ebook, but apparently others had the same issues.

My main issue didn’t even have anything to do with the book or the story itself; I loved the story. I have a huge problem with books that are tagged as YA that I would never let my children read in their teens. Just because the main character is a 15 year old girl does not automatically make it YA. (view spoiler)

The Reapers are Angels is a sad, very moving and emotional read but still highly enjoyable.

”And the beauty he looks over is fathomable only by a girl who would have felt the measure of it as deep as to her dazzled soul.”

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Book Review – Crave (Crave #1) by Melinda Metz and Laura J. Burns

Posted July 31, 2011 by Bonnie in Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA / 0 Comments

Book Review – Crave (Crave #1) by Melinda Metz and Laura J. BurnsCrave by Laura J. Burns, Melinda Metz
Series: Crave #1
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on September 21st 2010
Pages: 288
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


one-star

Shay has had a rare blood disorder since she was born. In fact, her mother married one of Shay's doctors, Martin, who left his world-renowned leukemia research to try and figure out exactly what the disorder is and how to cure it. When she turns seventeen, Martin begins to give her new blood transfusions that make her feel the strongest she has ever felt. But she also has odd visions where she sees through the eyes of a vampire. At first, she thinks she must be imagining the visions, but when she begins to see Martin's office in them, she knows she has to check it out. That's when she finds Gabriel, a sexy, teenaged vampire, imprisoned in Martin's office. The connection she has built with Gabriel compels her to set him free. But when he kidnaps her in an attempt at revenge on Martin, their lives become deeply intertwined. She doesn't know the half of it.

FYI, there are spoilers in this review. Wait, scratch that. There are spoilers in this rant. I don’t think this even constitutes as a review.

Holy crap! Where do I even begin? This book was the biggest load of crap I’ve read in a good long time and I don’t feel I’m being overly critical. I’ve read my fair share of YA; I went through a phase where that is all I read. But what shocks me the most about this one was the outrageously positive reviews it got.

Crave is about Shay, a 17 year old (she’s 17 right? Shit. I don’t even remember.) Anyways, she has a blood disorder that of course no doctor can figure out. Shay’s step-father, Martin, gives her blood transfusions at home and at this point they are the only thing that is keeping her alive, but they only succeed in making her feel ‘fine’. That is until the day Martin gives her a transfusion and it makes her feel better than she has ever in her life. So she decides to live.

“If you get there, you’ll be famous,” Lai-wan said reverently. “Everyone will know.”
“That’s worth it,” Shay said. Worth any danger. Worth drowning. Worth trying.

And that pretty much sums up the stupidity of Shay. Once she begins to feel better, stronger, after being sick for so long she decides to “live” as she likes to call it; otherwise known as being a complete and total idiot.

She decides to take up running when she’s never run in her life. She decides to make her first kiss be with her best friend’s boyfriend. She decides that it’d be an awesome idea to swim out to the middle of a river to go carve her name on a big rock. In other words, she takes her good health for granted and acts like a total brat to anyone and everyone and ended up causing me to pretty much hate everything about her.

Oh but it gets better! There’s the instalove.

There was of course nothing funny about this instalove, but I felt I deserved some comic relief.

So Shay finds out that the blood that she was receiving was coming from the vampire that was being held hostage in her step-fathers doctor’s office! So what does she do? Well she busts him out of course and runs away into the night with him. So they spend about two days together where she spends approximately half that time as his hostage… she slowly begins falling in love with him. Mm-hmm. Slowly. Over the course of two days.

This book was so ridiculous. It was predictable, it was total cliché with the instalove, the characters were IDIOTS and I hated every single one of them (which is rare…usually you find SOMEONE to like, even a little), and then there was the dramatic cliffhanger that at first made me think that I must not have the entire book because the authors couldn’t possibly have ended the book at that point. That wasn’t an ending. That was an end to a chapter, maybe even the end to a sub-section of a chapter. Stupid.

I have the 2nd book ready for me to start reading. But you know what? I’m not going to do it. I won’t do that to myself. Book number one caused enough pain I don’t expect miracles from book number two. Shay was one of the most imperfect, ridiculous, unlikable, and ludicrous book characters ever. I won’t be reading any book that she is in in the future.

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Book Review – Tighter by Adele Griffin

Posted July 30, 2011 by Bonnie in Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA / 1 Comment

Book Review – Tighter by Adele GriffinTighter by Adele Griffin
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on May 10th 2011
Pages: 224
Genres: Contemporary, Ghosties, Mystery
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


four-stars

When 17-year-old Jamie arrives on the idyllic New England island of Little Bly to work as a summer au pair, she is stunned to learn of the horror that precedes her. Seeking the truth surrounding a young couple's tragic deaths, Jamie discovers that she herself looks shockingly like the dead girl—and that she has a disturbing ability to sense the two ghosts. Why is Jamie's connection to the couple so intense? What really happened last summer at Little Bly? As the secrets of the house wrap tighter and tighter around her, Jamie must navigate the increasingly blurred divide between the worlds of the living and the dead.

Brilliantly plotted, with startling twists, here is a thrilling page-turner from the award-winning Adele Griffin.

I love a good ghost story. One of my favorites of all time is Heart-Shaped Box. Now that is one freaky book. I was a little skeptical about going into this with high expectations since it is YA and all; it turned out to be one of the darker types of YA books.

Jamie is a very disturbed 17 year-old with an awful pill addiction. After suffering a back injury she hasn’t been able to quite kick the habit. Her mother, concerned with her recent behavior and thinking she may be suffering from depression, helps set her up with a job as an au pair for an old friend on the island of Little Bly in New England. Jamie is skeptical about taking this job but thinks it may in fact be a good idea; that maybe by the time she got back, they’d be gone. They being the two ghosts that haunt her, her Uncle Jim and second cousin Hank… both individuals committed suicide. Jamie has seen them both ever since the night she personally contemplated suicide.

Upon arriving at Little Bly Jamie finds out that the child, Isa, her last au pair Jessie was killed in a plane crash when her boyfriend Peter was flying. Jamie’s unsettled to see how the town residents stare at her… because Jamie is the spitting image of Jessie. It doesn’t help matters when Jamie starts to see Peter and Jessie, ghosts, just like her Uncle Jim and Hank.

The book was certainly a tad unnerving, as can be expected with ghost stories. But the author… her writing style was crazy. Jamie would be in the middle of thinking something and right in the middle she would say something else and have seemingly zero awareness of what she just said For example:

“I knew I needed more socializing than just interacting with Connie and Isa and Milo; even a daily phone call with Mags would have helped, but the longer I stuck with just myself, the more messed up I might become rapping at the windows crying at the locks and it was beginning to bother me how much.”

Crying at the locks? What the hell are you talking about?! What’s going on?? But the writing was great; I loved how it always kept me guessing. And guessing you do… right up until the very end; I gasped. It’s one of those books where when you finally realize what’s going on it makes you have to stop, think, and look back at all that’s happened… makes you rethink everything.

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