Wednesday, September 5, 2012

New books update!

Fathomless by Jackson Pearce is now out!

Outpost by Ann Aguirre is also out!

And here's a chapter sampler for another new book, Unspoken!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Fly on the Wall- E. Lockhart

E. Lockhart is a great author- I've enjoyed everything I've read by her.  She has delightfully weird characters and her writing style is funny and direct.  Fly on the Wall is no different.
In this tale, Gretchen is a bit of an outcast at her arts school because she's more into comic book art than other types of art.  Her teachers don't particularly like her style of drawing, and her love of Spiderman is ridiculed.  Most of the other kids think she's weird, and considering she goes to an arts school, that's kind of sad.  But Gretchen is a well-meaning, lovable character who is desperately trying to understand boys, a seemingly impossible task.
There is one in particular who she especially likes- Titus.  One day she fleetingly wishes she could be a fly on the wall of the boy's locker room so she can see what really goes on in there, and what do you know? For a week, her wish comes true.
At first Gretchen is terrified by her new form, but she does learn to put it to good use.  She listens to their conversations, watches them change, pick on each other, talk about girls they liked and didn't like, along with the other locker room shenanigans. 
She develops a sense of empathy for certain boys and learns about the hierarchy among them.  She watches Titus, and although he is not the perfect male specimen, she finds that her feelings for him grow as he is also empathetic and kind-hearted.  Everything is a bit distorted through her fly eyes, but she does learn quite a bit and even catches a few boys talking about her (and favorably!).  Since she's a fly, she isn't in class, and so some people are wondering where she is.

This was a quick read, and the character development and plotting are good.  It's also quite funny at times and hard to put down.  I started laughing from the first page, and while some of the topics were more serious (bullying, discrimination, etc), the books was overall lighthearted and fun.

Waking Storms- Sarah Porter

As a follow-up to Lost Voice, there were some things I didn't like about this book, but there were also things I did like.  Now, I loved Lost Voices.  I loved the tragedy and the bickering and the mermaid hierarchy and the mythology.  And that is in Waking Storms as well, but there also is a love interest, and I didn't like that part as much.
So Luce has left her tribe of mermaids run by the horrible, selfish, demonic, and stupid Anais- and Catarina is gone as well.  Luce misses certain mermaids from her tribe, but she has also developed a taboo relationship with a human boy who somehow withstood the mermaid song even though everyone else on the boat jumped to their deaths at the sound of it.  And she lies and tells them he's dead even though he isn't.
Luce meets a new mermaid, Nausicaa, who has apparently been around as long as mermaids have and knows pretty much everything.  And of course she tells Luce that no, it is not simple to turn human again and most mermaids fail at it and end up dying tragically.
I liked Nausicaa because she provided so much information and history of the mermaids . . and because she wasn't too judgmental.  But I felt that Luce was a little less likeable in this one because she just had to go all moony over the human boy.
This book was a much slower read than Lost Voices- I'm really hoping it picks up in the third book.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Jersey Angel- Beth Ann Bauman

This was awful. The main character was just this spoiled, shallow, cheap do nothing loser who happened to live on the Jersey Shore. All she did was skankwhore around and whine that her best friend got everything. "Why does Inggy get EVERYTHING?" Because Inggy actually DOES THINGS. Like, she DOES HER HOMEWORK AND TRIES TO EXCEL AT THINGS INSTEAD OF SLAGGING AROUND LIKE A WASTOID LOSER. I couldn't figure out why they would be friends. I mean, this Angel bint got to live in her own house most of the year even though she was in high school because her mother happened to own three houses and used the summer rental income from that to support her three kids and her similar wastoid lifestyle. "I'm just not the type of person who can hold down a job!" YOU HAVE THREE KIDS AND LIKE TEN MILLION MEN WHO WANT TO MARRY YOU AND HELP SUPPORT YOUR FAMILY. And all you do is skankwhore around drinking mojitos and making out with high schoolers. And so Angel slept around with Inggy's boyfriend, and you'd think that this would be a point of contention between the two of them, but no. It's all good in New Jersey! Who cares if you're cheating? It's like nothing happened in this book. It was about living a completely pointless existence. I can't believe it even got published.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Before I Wake- Rachel Vincent

Okay, warning:  this review will contain spoilers.

However, this book is AWESOME.

When we left Kaylee Cavanaugh at the end of If I Die, she was, well dead.  But reanimated so that she could perform a special function- reclaiming stolen souls.  And she and Nash were pretty much over.  HI TOD!

I love Tod.  Tod is so much cooler than Nash, because he's dead, he's self-sacrificing, and he thinks Kaylee is about the greatest person ever.  Which she probably is.

Now, Nash is still all pissy about having been dumped and temporarily framed for Kaylee's murder.  Though I'd think he'd get over her considering that she's DEAD and so is TOD (which actually means 'death' in German) meaning they kind of make more sense.  Plus he's got Sabine the hot slut going crazy over him.

Now, before, I have significantly disliked Sabine.  She just gets so "Nash Nash Nash Nash HA YOU'RE A VIRGIN KAYLEE Nash Nash Nash.'  And that gets BORING.  But now she found a new hobby- insulting Sophie, Kaylee's annoying bitchy cousin.  And that's just funny.

So what is this dead banshee with a Harry Potter complex up to now?  Well, there's the whole soul stealing thing going on, and of course those damn hellions keep showing up to muck about in her business, and there's a whole lot of confusion as to "Is this person real or is actually AVARI?! I DON'T KNOW!  FUCK!"

And of course, with her Harry Potter complex (personally I think a Harry Potter complex should become a legitimate psychological term for her condition [you know, must save and protect EVERYONE]), she's worried sick about her friends and family.  I'd say worried to death, but she's already dead, and though this gives her certain powers, I do think she misses actual life.  Now, she does have the Glorious Reaper Tod as her forever boyfriend now, which is pretty cool, because he was lonely and he's just so delicious you can't help but adore him.

I will warn you that when this book ends, you'll wish you had the next book.  But you can't.  It hasn't come out yet.  So you'll have to deal.  But seriously- I love all these books, even the novellas.  I highly recommend them to anyone who likes paranormal or fantasy or what have you, because THEY ROCK.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Butterfly Clues- Kate Ellison

This was an original story with a very peculiar main character, but that's really what made it good. The Butterfly Clues' main character, Lo, was sort of an OCD paranoid weirdo and her brother has died, leaving her family sort of out of it. Her mother didn't really leave her room and took lots of antidepressants which clearly didn't do any good.  So Lo starts visiting the part of Cleveland where her brother died- Neverland.
Neverland is called that because it is full of runaways and others who sort of live off the grid.  Lo goes to the street fair regularly and collects various objects which she fills her room with in a very orderly fashion-or, at least, orderly to her.  Soon enough, a dead stripper is found in Neverland, and Lo becomes completely obsessed with the murder.
While trying to uncover the mystery of why someone would kill Sapphire, as she was known, Lo meets lots of interesting people and even comes across some of Sapphire's personal belongings.
Lo even tries to 'audition' at Sapphire's strip club, Tens, in an effort to find out more about her.  Lo, of course, is legally too young to be a stripper as she's in high school.  She of course does not fit in at school, a lot of this due to her obsession with certain numbers and the number of times she has to tap and say banana before opening a door.  There are some people at her school who find her interesting, but she doesn't feel like she belongs with them and instead hangs out with the miscreants and squatters and artists in Neverland playing trash can bowling. 
I liked the Neverlanders and I thought Lo was a great main character.  I also was surprised by what she uncovered in the end.
Also, just to point out- the cover is awesome.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Blood Wounds- Susan Beth Pfeffer

Okay, I admit it- I didn't like Life As We Knew It.  I didn't even finish it.  But Susan Beth Pfeffer is one of those writers who has been around for quite some time, and one of my favorite childhood books was by her: Nobody's Daughter. 
Blood Wounds is a heart-wrenching novel about a teenage girl with a blended family and deep family secrets.  Willa is a likeable character.  Her stepsisters aren't, but she's a thoughtful girl who cares about people and doesn't begrudge anyone anything.  While she lives with her mother and her stepfather, she is denied many of the things her stepsisters receive.  Since their mother is extremely rich, they get all kinds of things just handed to them and Willa does not.  They're spoiled and uncaring, but Willa doesn't mind as long as her parents love her.
Then she finds out the truth about her biological father.  She hasn't seen him since she was very young and knows nothing about his current life, until he kills his family and starts driving up toward Willa's new home.
When Willa finds out that she had two little sisters she knew nothing about, she insists upon going to their funeral.  A family friend takes her down to Podunk Texas so she can find out about her family. 
The blood wounds in this story are both real and metaphoric- while her sisters and their mother died bloody deaths, Willa was left with the aftermath of how her blood family wounded her emotionally.  A lot of ghosts come out of closets and Willa's decision making becomes extremely important.
I found this book to be a quick read because I couldn't put it down.  I really felt Willa's pain and the twisted family dynamics were fascinating.  This is one of those sad yet hopeful realistic reads that actually does deliver.