Showing posts with label death. Show all posts
Showing posts with label death. Show all posts

Saturday, April 15, 2017

[Review] Be My Girl - Nina Sadowsky: Marriage and Murder

In BE MY GIRL, Ellie and Rob get married and slowly realize that they are both keeping monumental secrets from each other.

What intrigued me: I was in the mood for an adult thriller.

Great Beginning and Dual POV

BE MY GIRL really surprised me and snuck up on me with it's brilliant premise and beginning. Told in two alternating storylines, one set with protagonist Ellie in a hotel room with a corpse, and the other one right after her wedding to Rob, it's surely a unique read. 

You'd think the flip-flopping back and forth through the timeline would get confusing, but it really doesn't. Mainly because it's executed flawlessly and there are lots of secrets to explore in both past and present. BE MY GIRL is an absolute page-turner. For the first fifty pages that is.

Offbeat Pace and Over-the-top Story

As much as BE MY GIRL delighted me in the beginning, it absolutely lost me somewhere around the middle. The writing is quite strange and very slow, focused on telling rather than showing. While I didn't have a problem with the characters and found them quite intriguing and longed to find out more about them - the pacing is terrible. It takes so much time for things to get interesting and once they do, everything happens at once. BE MY GIRL has the most over-the-top storyline involving, murder, kidnapping, terminal illness, serial killers - it's like every action movie and thriller thrown together at once. While that can work for some people, it really didn't for me. I was hoping for a very satisfying and linear mystery instead of a mixture of ... everything. It's really messy to read and definitely lowered my enthusiasm despite the excellent start.

And honestly? This story is just ridiculous. Again, this is highly subjective but that amount of secrets and twists and turns rather made me roll my eyes than actually care about the story. Maybe this will work better for you, but BE MY GIRL was a little too much for me personally.




Overall: Do I Recommend?

BE MY GIRL is a very over-the-top thriller/action read that combines all tropes you've ever seen in a book. For me this wasn't really fun, but you might feel differently.

Trigger warning: blood, gore, murder, death, terminal illness, abuse, violence

Additional Info

Published: February 17th 2017
Pages: 336
Publisher: Penguin
Genre: Adult / Thriller
ISBN: 9783328100041

"Balanced on the razor edge of moral ambiguity, this sexy and seductive debut novel asks: How can you find out that the person you love is a killer...and continue to love him anyway?

On the night of her wedding to Rob, Ellie's perfect world suddenly collapses. Her suave, charming, sophisticated husband is not the man she believed him to be. Could he really be a killer?

Ellie is rapidly swept into a lethal vortex of betrayal, lies, and uncertainty: Who is the man she married, really?
And how far will she go to protect him?

From Manhattan to the Caribbean, Rob and Ellie struggle to escape the grip of Rob's former life - a life his employers are determined to ensnare him in for good.

When faced with a terrible choice -- to become a murderess herself to save the man she loves, or to let him die -- Ellie's decision propels her into a whiplash-paced adventure, filled with cinematic twists and a startling sense of unease."
(Source: Goodreads)

What's your favorite thriller?

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Recommendation: How to Make a Wish - Ashley Herring Blake: Bisexuality and Sadness

In HOW TO MAKE A WISH, Grace's mom makes her move in with her ex-boyfriend's dad and meets Eva, who is struggling with her mother's death.

What intrigued me: Biracial and bisexual characters?! YES

Snarky Teen and Sad Vibes

HOW TO MAKE A WISH is one of those very quiet reads that you definitely have to have a thing for and have to be in the right mood for. Blake tells Grace's story with the authentic snark that I would've adored reading about as a teen. The thing Is - HOW TO MAKE A WISH is so character-driven and so quiet that I just didn't feel as enthusiastic about it as I would've liked. 

This is a me thing. This has nothing to do with the book. It's skillfully written with a killer voice and with heart. Also #ownvoices by a bisexual author, which clearly, obviously shows in the nuanced way Blake writes her characters. It reads somewhere inbetween books like those by Sarah Dessen and Jenny Han. If you enjoy works by these authors, you'll surely adore this one. 

HOW TO MAKE A WISH will surely hit close to home for many people out there, not only because of the fabulous narration but because it features a bisexual protagonist and a black biracial love interest.

Representation goddamn matters.

I've got a confession to make here. This is first time that I've read about a biracial character portrayed so accurately that it freaks me out. I'm biracial and usually the representation we get hardly ever is stated on the page, and if it is, there are probably a lot other things wrong with the book. HOW TO MAKE A WISH presents biracial love interest Eva in a way that hit so close to home to me that I'm genuinely wondering if this was written about me. Is this me? Is this what representation feels like? 

Despite HOW TO MAKE A WISH missing the mark for me personally because of totally arbitrary and highly subjective reasons that stand in no relation to the quality of this book, this is an extraordinary book that I wish a lot of success. I refuse to give this any less than five stars and I urge you to be lenient with this book when rating and reviewing it as well. There is virtually no representation for people like me and we need to cheer those authors on that bother to do it right.

I would've needed this book at 14, 15, 16 - hell, I still need it now. I really don't know how to handle this. It's weird being represented, but it's also nice. Do me a favor and shove this book into the hands of any black biracials you know, okay? It'll mean the world to them.




Overall: Do I Recommend?

So, HOW TO MAKE A WISH apparently is the first book written for people like me. And it feels damn good, you guys. Representation matters. Gift this to your biracial friends.

Additional Info

Published: May 2nd 2017
Pages: 336
Publisher: HMH Kids
Genre: YA / Contemporary
ISBN: 9780544815193

"All seventeen year-old Grace Glasser wants is her own life. A normal life in which she sleeps in the same bed for longer than three months and doesn't have to scrounge for spare change to make sure the electric bill is paid. Emotionally trapped by her unreliable mother, Maggie, and the tiny cape on which she lives, she focuses on her best friend, her upcoming audition for a top music school in New York, and surviving Maggie’s latest boyfriend—who happens to be Grace’s own ex-boyfriend’s father.

Her attempts to lay low until she graduates are disrupted when she meets Eva, a girl with her own share of ghosts she’s trying to outrun. Grief-stricken and lonely, Eva pulls Grace into midnight adventures and feelings Grace never planned on. When Eva tells Grace she likes girls, both of their worlds open up. But, united by loss, Eva also shares a connection with Maggie. As Grace's mother spirals downward, both girls must figure out how to love and how to move on."
(Source: Goodreads)

What was the first book that made you feel represented as a marginalized person?

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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

[Review] Elsewhere - Gabrielle Zevin: Afterlife and Aging Backwards

In ELSEWHERE, Liz dies in a bicycle accident and goes to Elsewhere, where everyone ages backwards until they are reincarnated on Earth.

What intrigued me: Amazing premise. Wow.

Quiet and comforting

Stories about the afterlife are very tricky to write in my opinion. Zevin decided not to play into any of the expectations I had, let them be religious or not. The concept of death being just another life, this time in reverse, is strangely comforting. Comfort is definitely the first word I'd use to describe ELSEWHERE. It's a very quiet, almost shy story that absolutely lives from its beautiful premise, but is also, sadly, crippled by it.

Beyond the neat idea of a utopian afterlife, there isn't anything memorable about this story unfortunately. The voice is very reserved and the main character Liz strikingly colorless and forgettable. Most of the novel is spent exploring Elsewhere, without actually gaining much insight on the world. The world building is almost non-existent, the interesting bits happen within the first 50 pages and from then on it feels like you're just observing awkward mundane tasks. ELSEWHERE has a nice premise but absolutely relies on this.

More of a MG read

The writing is extremely simple and plain, lacking descriptions, but nevertheless I had images in my head non-stop. The concept is definitely powerful enough to make you think up your own expectations of the afterlife, and I really love that. ELSEWHERE's approach to life after death is open, but still imaginative. I longed for every piece of information about this world.

I would definitely say that this is lower YA, even upper Middle Grade because of the language and the approach to the topic. You won't find any typical YA tropes in this.




Overall: Do I Recommend?

ELSEWHERE has a nice concept, but that's about it. I think this could really appeal to Middle Grade readers more than it did to me - I expected typical YA, and was disappointed.

Additional Info

Published: May 15th 2007
Pages: 277
Publisher: Square Fish
Genre: YA / Urban Fantasy
ISBN: 9780312367466

"Welcome to Elsewhere. It is warm, with a breeze, and the beaches are marvelous. It's quiet and peaceful. You can't get sick or any older. Curious to see new paintings by Picasso? Swing by one of Elsewhere's museums. Need to talk to someone about your problems? Stop by Marilyn Monroe's psychiatric practice.

Elsewhere is where fifteen-year-old Liz Hall ends up, after she has died. It is a place so like Earth, yet completely different. Here Liz will age backward from the day of her death until she becomes a baby again and returns to Earth. But Liz wants to turn sixteen, not fourteen again. She wants to get her driver's license. She wants to graduate from high school and go to college. And now that she's dead, Liz is being forced to live a life she doesn't want with a grandmother she has only just met. And it is not going well. How can Liz let go of the only life she has ever known and embrace a new one? Is it possible that a life lived in reverse is no different from a life lived forward?"(Source: Goodreads)

What's your favorite book about the afterlife?

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Saturday, July 9, 2016

Recommendation: Alive (Generations #1) - Scott Sigler: Dystopian Prison World and Suspense

In ALIVE, a girl wakes up alive in a coffin with no recollection of who she and why she was put in there. 

What intrigued me:
 Sounds like a YA version of Matrix. I love conspiracy theories. Absolutely a synopsis-buy.

This novel will mess with you

The less you know about it, the better. In order not to spoil the experience for anyone, I'll be very vague when talking about this book, because ALIVE strives from the cluelessness of the reader. After Em wakes up in coffin you know just as little as her about this world. You figure out everything with her and that's what kept me glued to the pages. It's such a simple way of encouraging the reader and getting them invested in the story, and it's absolutely works.

Sigler brilliantly manages to channel this feeling of not knowing what's going on through the protagonist Em and it's just fabulous. You won't know what's going on until it's happening, and I guarantee you the resolution will leave you gasping and yelling. If you love plot twists and mind games, this is the novel for you.

As someone who is not inherently very into most Dystopian YA on the market, this is really refreshing because it doesn't play into the stereotypes we've all read about a gazillion times before. ALIVE is truly very unique, very interesting, and very strange. 

That's how you write a leader!

I usually don't like typical leader-like characters, especially in YA. Often these people come across as awkward and not really fit for the job, but Em is among the best strong protagonists I've ever read about. The choices she has to make along the way are realistic, full of sacrifices, and just made her such a likeable and wonderfully real character.
I absolutely enjoyed the way Em navigates through the story, however, I wished at some point that the story progressed a little more quickly, simply because I was so desperate to find out what was going on. There is a lot of walking around in this and after a while it does get exhausting to read all these scenes, even though Sigler did his best to make them as enjoyable as possible. Technically, this isn't even criticism, just me being impatient.

The twist truly made me want to buy the second book instantly and read more about this interesting world. Despite it all taking too much time for my taste to unravel, it was truly a great read and I enjoyed this immensely. If you're a fan of being kept in the dark until the end and then having your world shattered into a million pieces by a wonderfully grim twist, this is the read for you.




Overall: Do I Recommend?

If you're not a fan of the genre usually, give this one a try. Don't read any reviews, just get the book and trust me. It'll be worth it. 

Additional Info

Published: July 14th 2015
Pages: 368
Publisher: Del Rey
Genre: YA / Dystopian

"A young woman awakes trapped in an enclosed space. She has no idea who she is or how she got there. With only her instincts to guide her, she escapes her own confinement—and finds she’s not alone. She frees the others in the room and leads them into a corridor filled with the remains of a war long past. The farther these survivors travel, the worse are the horrors they confront. And as they slowly come to understand what this prison is, they realize that the worst and strangest possibilities they could have imagined don’t even come close to the truth."
(Source: Goodreads)

What's your favorite Dystopian read?

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Friday, July 1, 2016

Recommendation: Last Will and Testament (Radleigh University #1) - Dahlia Adler: Dating the TA and Becoming an Adult

In LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT, party girl Lizzie has to take care of her little brothers and become their guardian after her parents die in an accident. 

What intrigued me: I don't read New Adult often, but when I do, it's because it was recommended. Like this one.

Fantastic voice

LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT had me hooked from the first page. Adler has an uncanny ability to utterly suck you into this novel's world. The writing is super accessible, fun, and easy to read. Adler's characters don't need much introduction, it just jumps right into the action.

Paired with a story that is absolutely not light, but rather heavy in the best, subtle yet gut-wrenching way; LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT has a perfect equilibrium. I love novels with easy writing that tackle dark themes. Though I wouldn't have minded if it had tapped more into the dark places, considering that Lizzie loses both her parents and has to completely change up her life in a relatively short time.

Lizzie's voice is really fantastic. Adler manages to capture her narrative voice at the intersection between teen and adult in a way that I have hardly ever encountered before. Lizzie is sassy, Lizzie is teen, and Lizzie is badass, and incredibly likeable. Lizzie definitely carries LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT and makes it stand out. I immediately found myself identifying with her narration and enjoying it. But the thing that I enjoyed by far the most about Lizzie is the fact that she's a valedictorian who stopped getting good grades in college - for ... well, for no reason really. There are too few characters like her and reading about her experience hit close to home for me. LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT tells the story of a girl growing up, of a girl taking responsibility and charge of her life.

Fresh & fun

I fell hopelessly in love with the love interest Connor, Lizzie's TA who really doesn't like her. Their banter is hilarious and easily my highlight of LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT. I love a good hate-to-love story and Adler absolutely pulls it off. I enjoyed that Adler decided to take it slow with the romance, which contributes to the realistic feel - it doesn't feel forced, but like a natural consequence. A truly organic romance.

It truly is a fresh of breath air to read about characters that I find go completely into the different direction of what I'm used to seeing in this genre. I loved the forbidden-romance aspect, considering this is technically a teacher/student relationship, even if the age difference isn't really that relevant.

LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT is a breath of fresh air, amazes with unique, quirky characters and a fantastic voice. And more importantly such a good read that you will finish this in one sitting like I did. Did I mention that it has a Filipina lead? Cue the choir of angels singing. 

Adler is definitely an author to watch. I'll certainly be reading more books by her.




Overall: Do I Recommend?

LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT is easily among my favorite New Adult contemporaries. A true gem.

Additional Info

Published: December 9th 2014
Pages: 414
Publisher: Smashwords
Genre: New Adult / Contemporary
ISBN: 9780990916802

"Lizzie Brandt was valedictorian of her high school class, but at Radleigh University, all she's acing are partying and hooking up with the wrong guys. But all that changes when her parents are killed in a tragic accident, making her guardian to her two younger brothers. To keep them out of foster care, she'll have to fix up her image, her life, and her GPA—fast. Too bad the only person on campus she can go to for help is her humorless, pedantic Byzantine History TA, Connor Lawson, who isn't exactly Lizzie's biggest fan.

But Connor surprises her. Not only is he a great tutor, but he’s also a pretty great babysitter. And chauffeur. And listener. And he understands exactly what it’s like to be on your own before you're ready. Before long, Lizzie realizes having a responsible-adult type around has its perks... and that she'd like to do some rather irresponsible (but considerably adult) things with him as well. Good thing he's not the kind of guy who'd ever reciprocate.

Until he does.

Until they turn into far more than teacher and student.

Until the relationship that helped put their lives back together threatens everything they both have left."(Source: Goodreads)

What's your favorite NA read?

Continue Reading...

Friday, May 27, 2016

[Review] True Born (#1) - L.E. Sterling: The Plague is Back with a Vengeance

In TRUE BORN, a plague has decimated the world population significantly. Only those who are born with a natural immunity and those rich enough to get their genes "repaired" temporarily, are able to survive.

What intrigued me: I find the concept of an epidemic always incredibly intriguing in dystopias.

Reading this is like rocket science

TRUE BORN centers around the sisters Lu and Margot who are approaching the day that it will be revealed whether they are immune to the Plague or not. They go through several tests, and suddenly their father hires bodyguards to protect them and all hell breaks loose. 

This is where TRUE BORN really lost me to be honest. While I am very interested in the premise, the execution and writing are incredibly eccentric and strange. To me the whole novel reads like chunks of it are missing. Many scenes involve time jumps to get to action, and sometimes they're not even denoted as such.

I couldn't, for the life of me, keep up with the character names because new people kept appearing out of the blue and acting like they had been there all along. I caught myself going back and forth so often that I quickly lost enthusiasm and the desire to even understand this very confusing world. The premise isn't that complicated, but TRUE BORN does its best to make it seem like rocket science. Lingo and complicated terms are thrown around a good dozen times before they are even explained, and the explanations we get aren't easy to grasp either.

Generally, it feels like TRUE BORN is trying to hide the fact that it has a very simple premise and seeming to come across as taking place in a very intricate, super complicated world. I had huge problems trying to picture the world in my head because it notoriously lacks descriptions. I still can't really picture what kind of dystopian future it takes place in because there is little to no imagery.

Not groundbreaking, yet oddly entertaining

However, as tedious as this whole confusing world might sound, it frustrated me so much that I wanted to continue. I really wanted to understand what was going on and was waiting for the moment when it would all made sense, so I could find my peace with this book. This moment sadly didn't come for me and my entire reading experience could probably be most accurately described with ???.
I did find it sort of entertaining to try to find out what exactly was going on, but I didn't, at all, form any attachments to the characters. I liked the idea of this very special bond between twins, but like many things in TRUE BORN, it doesn't seem groundbreaking. There are so many little tropes and things that I've seen so often in novels of the genre that I almost mentally found myself checking off a list.
Describing swoony love interest's eye colors for multiple paragraphs? Check. Protagonist is a special snowflake and different to everyone else? Check. Paragraphs and paragraphs of absolutely irrelevant narration to hide that there's no world building? Check.




Overall: Do I Recommend?

TRUE BORN was a really exhausting read. I didn't connect to the characters or narrative enough to say I enjoyed it. It's undoubtedly a very unique story and Sterling has a very memorable writing style. It just wasn't for me.

Additional Info

Published: May 3rd 2016
Pages: 304
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
Genre: YA / Dystopia
ISBN: 9781633753198

"Welcome to Dominion City.

After the great Plague descended, the world population was decimated...and their genetics damaged beyond repair.

The Lasters wait hopelessly for their genes to self-destruct. The Splicers pay for expensive treatments that might prolong their life. The plague-resistant True Borns are as mysterious as they are feared…

And then there's Lucy Fox and her identical twin sister, Margot. After endless tests, no one wants to reveal what they are.

When Margot disappears, a desperate Lucy has no choice but to put her faith in the True Borns, led by the charismatic Nolan Storm and the beautiful but deadly Jared Price. As Lucy and the True Borns set out to rescue her sister, they stumble upon a vast conspiracy stretching from Dominion’s street preachers to shady Russian tycoons. But why target the Fox sisters?

As they say in Dominion, it’s in the blood."(Source: Goodreads)

 Do you like novels about epidemics?

Continue Reading...

Monday, April 25, 2016

[Review] Forewarned (The Near Deaths #2) - Holly M. Campbell: Serial Killers and Psychics

In FOREWARNED, mind reader Hope and her death-seeing boyfriend Lance are on the hunt for the kidnapper that tried to abduct Hope and her friend Claire in FORESHADOWED.

What intrigued me: I liked the first book!

The serial killer is back

The first book initially left me a bit disappointed that the kidnapping storyline isn't completely resolved but picked up again in the second novel. What could have possibly ended in a dragged out disaster actually proved to be a smart decision. 

Where FORESHADOWED still introduced characters, FOREWARNED absolutely compliments the series by concentrating more on the action. I grew very attached to all the characters and am an absolute fan of the protagonist Hope. 

Her narration is so essentially teen and relatable that it's just fun to read her story. The mind-reading part that I initially was very skeptical of, because it's hardly done well, became one of my favorite things about this series. Campbell flawlessly manages to capture the thoughts of her characters.

Fantastic ending ... where's the sequel?!

FOREWARNED is a typical transition novel and it shows in the plot. Because of Campbell's light and easy writing style it doesn't quite bother me as much, but I really would have loved for things to get ugly in this one. FORESHADOWED hints at all the action and I was really hoping to see the showdown in this novel or at least get a little bit more information of the killer that would make it easier to pinpoint who he exactly is. Well, in the end I did like the sequel than the first, which is mostly because of the great ending that had me longing for more. 

In both FORESHADOWED and FOREWARNED, the last thirty pages were by far my favorite part of the books. Campbell is exceptionally talented at fast-pace narration, building up tension within a couple of pages, and really, deeply making me worry for her characters' fate. FOREWARNED yet again surprised me with a devastating and fantastic ending, and made me want to immediately continue the story and read the sequel. 

Full of surprises, relatable and thought-provoking, FOREWARNED is truly a reading pleasure!




Overall: Do I Recommend?

I liked FOREWARNED better than the first and am very much looking forward to continuing the series and I would absolutely recommend it!

Additional Info

Published: April 26th 2016
Pages: 398
Publisher: 48Fourteen
Genre: YA / Thriller

"Death is not finished with her…

With a little help from her death-seeing boyfriend, Lance Hampton, Hope Murdoch has already defeated fate once. Doing it again—and stopping a serial killer in the making—shouldn’t be too hard…except she hasn’t healed from her last brush with the psychopath, Lance is struggling with his personal demons, and she’s grounded. Tracking down a murderer is not easy when you’re basically under house arrest.

Yet, the seventeen-year-old mind reader isn’t about to let those trifling obstacles slow her down. So what if she has to lie to her parents and sneak out of the house to catch him? She is not the only one in danger.

Once again, Hope is faced with the burden of choosing between saving her own life and the victims starring in Lance’s visions. Getting past her parents’ house alarm is a walk in the dark compared with trying to get a murderer behind bars…or in the ground. With only a few clues to piece together, every path looks like a dead end—literally. 

This time, the cost of changing her future may be too much to bear."(Source: Goodreads)

Do you like books about mind readers?

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Thursday, April 21, 2016

[Review] Foreshadowed (The Near Deaths #1) - Holly M. Campbell: Mind Reading and Boy Trouble

In FORESHADOWED, Hope has the ability to read minds. When she meets Lance, who sees the way people will die when he looks at them, and learns of her own death, she's determined to stop it before it happens.

What intrigued me: I was in the mood for some good old paranormal romance!

I approve of the characters!

FORESHADOWED sounds like your average girl meets mysterious boy and they fall in love story. I was expecting a cheesy romance, but was surprised to find a somewhat different approach. 

The heroine Hope is a wonderful main character and very fun to read about. She's sassy, she's witty, and she's actually funny. I especially enjoyed the banter between her and her next-door-neighbor and crush Bryce. He's such a fantastically funny douchebag that you can't help but love him. I love their relationship and I absolutely adore accurate portrayals of unrequited love.

I think having Bryce and Lance, the token mysterious new guy, in this love triangle actually works. Even though I would argue that Hope should choose neither.

Not a Paranormal Romance

I also love how Campbell introduces us into Hope's world directly and we get to actually experience what her mind reading ability is like with little cursive inserts of the thoughts of the people surrounding her. This is undoubtedly very well done and probably the only time that I've seen mind reading done well without it seeming ridiculous.

However, there isn't really much more to FORESHADOWED than being a story about a girl who reads minds. She does meet Lance, a boy with the ability to see death dates, but I was hoping for more world building. Most of the novel takes place at school, in very mundane scenes and to me it was absolutely lacking the certain spark, the magic. It reminds me a little of NUMBERS by Rachel Ward.

The problem isn't really with the novel itself, but with the premise. Everything about the setup suggests a love triangle paranormal romance, when in reality it actually is a thriller involving murder and crime. FORESHADOWED doesn't let you know that it's not a sweet, cheesy romance until 75% in, which frustrated me a little. I did enjoy the novel overall, once I got into the story - I was invested. 




Overall: Do I Recommend?

The writing is nice and clean and Hope is such a sympathetic character that I think I can't tell you not to read this.

Additional Info

Published: December 29th 2014
Pages: 314
Publisher: 48Fourteen
Genre: YA / Thriller
ISBN: 9781937546380

"Hope Murdoch was born dead. The doctor brought her back, and now she’s an almost-normal sixteen-year-old. Normal: a hopeless crush on the boy next door, a negative body image, and a (mis)diagnosis of ADHD. Not-so-normal: an exhausting and distracting ability to read minds. And high school is hard enough without hearing what everyone really thinks of you.

Lance Hampton used to be normal until a car accident killed him and his parents. Paramedics brought him back to a life he doesn’t want: orphaned, uprooted and living with his uncle, and suddenly able to see how people die. At his new school, he tries to keep to himself. Seeing how complete strangers die is torture enough, let alone friends.

At first glance, Hope doesn’t think much of Lance (though a lot of the other girls do). He looks like the typical bad boy. No thank-you … but then she meets his eyes and everything goes dark. She hears labored breathing. Rapid footsteps. And then a thud as someone falls to the ground. Inside Lance’s head, Hope just witnessed a vision of murder … her own.

Together Hope and Lance try to catch a killer before he’s red-handed. A killer who could be anywhere. Anyone. Sure Hope can read minds and Lance can see death, but they still can’t see in the dark.(Source: Goodreads)
Continue Reading...

Monday, June 8, 2015

[Review] Denton Little's DeathDate (Denton Little #1) - Lance Rubin

In DENTON LITTLE'S DEATHDATE,advanced technology has made it possible for almost everyone to know their death date the minute they are born.

Denton belongs to the group of early ones - the people that die before their 21st birthday. He's only seventeen and in the midst of his funeral preparations and celebrations.

I get what the author was aiming for.
This is supposed to be a solely comedic read, but it really isn't that funny. Almost every sentence is supposed to be a joke and you never know whether Denton really means the things he says and does or is just aiming for comedic effect.

Throughout the novel all scenes seem to serve only the purpose of making the reader laugh in a slapstick-esque matter that isn't always really flattering to the author. Sometimes the jokes seem extremely forced and cause secondhand embarrassment. The premise is extremely interesting and the world building very strong, which just makes this even more frustrating. Rubin made sure to make Denton's death preparations seem realistic by adding little quirks that society developed throughout the years.

Denton himself is in theory a likable character, but the way he deals with his situation makes it hard to get into the novel. He's constantly cracking jokes and not a for a second actually thinking about the fact that his death is coming soon.
You'd usually think someone in that situation would be insecure and scared. Denton acts like he has all the time in the world. For the purpose of the novel it would even be more funny if he'd do those things that people in his world do when they know their death is pretty near. The only time I had the notion that Denton was really doing that was when he speaks his mind about his arch enemy Phil at his death ceremonial.

I like idea, but it's just executed very poorly and you can tell that it's a debut novel. I struggled for ever page, because I couldn't take the story seriously if the protagonist doesn't either.




Overall: Do I Recommend?

I had to struggle through this. I didn't connect to Denton as a character and therefore couldn't empathize with his feelings. Because the story is written so humorously I had a hard time taking the very dramatic things that happen in Denton's life seriously. The premise is very similar to "Numbers" by Rachel Ward and even though I had a whole different set of issues with that novel, the topic is dealt with more realistically and seriously there.

I understand why some people might be into these kinds of novels, but I'd rather read a story about a main character that doesn't feel to ridicule the terrible things that happen in their life. 


" Denton Little's Deathdate takes place in a world exactly like our own ­­- except that everyone knows the day on which they will die. For Denton, that's in just two days - the day of his senior prom.

Despite his early deathdate, Denton has always wanted to live a normal life - but his final days are filled with dramatic firsts. First hangover. First sex. First love triangle (the first sex seems to have happened not with his adoring girlfriend, but with his best friend's sister. Though he's not totally sure - see, first hangover).

 His anxiety builds when he discovers a mysterious purple rash making its way up his body. Is this what will kill him? Then a strange man shows up at his funeral, claiming to have known Denton's long-deceased mother, and warning him to beware of suspicious characters . . .

Suddenly Denton's life is filled with mysterious questions and precious little time to find the answers."
(Source: Goodreads) 

Continue Reading...

Saturday, May 23, 2015

[Review] Hourglass (#1) - Myra McEntire

In HOURGLASS, Emerson Cole finds out that her ability to see "the dead" is linked to time travel. Together with Michael Weaver, a consultant posing to help her get over her issues with mental illness and hallucinations, she learns more about the secretive organization called Hourglass that specializes in training people with abilities like her.

Doctor Who Meets RUBY RED

The premise reminds me of a mixture between RUBY RED by Kerstin Gier and Doctor Who, and I love it. I absolutely love mind-confusing twists and alternate story lines that make your head hurt if you try to make sense of them. Time paradoxons and worm holes are not something you see in YA every day. I have so much respect for every author that attempts to tackle the topic of time travel because you can easily mess this up by being inconsistent.

Michael Weaver is obviously not only Emerson's consultant but also her love interest. They are drawn to each other from the minute they lay eyes on each other and the tension is pretty ... well, intense. 

It's Impossible to Dislike Emerson & Michael Together

For once I'd love to read a YA novel in which the main characters fall in love with each other because of their personalities, not because they find each other super attractive. Yes, there is some mumbo-jumbo explanation for the fact that they are two parts of a whole. Why is it always like that? Why can't the protagonist fall in love with a love interest for once that s/he isn't immediately drawn to because of their outer appearance?

However critical I may sound, I absolutely loved this novel and I could not put it down. It's somewhat of a guilty pleasure, there are so many things that I'd usually heavily criticize, but I just couldn't in this one. I love Emerson's character voice, the setting, the idea and the concept of time travel mixed with a very unique love story. I'm bickering about the romance a little, because it's very obvious that they are destined for each other and I'm a little tired of that.

Emerson and Michael spend so much time with each other that it's very hard to go through all those pages without even liking them a little as a couple. I felt like the romance was forced on me and I had no say in whether I want them to be together or not. In that respect, McEntire does a great job. If I actually think about it, I would rather have seen Emerson with somebody else. More screen time apparently equals more chemistry.




Overall: Do I Recommend?

I'm very surprised that I loved this. I absolutely fell in love with the concept and I can't wait to read the sequels and I can't wait to learn more about the physics of time travel. It's a fast-paced dynamic story about love with a dash of time travel. Beware of the plot twists - you won't see them coming! I'm very glad I decided to read this.

"One hour to rewrite the past . . .

For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn't there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents' death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She's tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.

So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson's willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may also change her past.

Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he's around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should've happened?"

What's Your Favorite Novel About Time Travel?

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