Review: This book took me by surprise, in a fantastic way. It was much creepier than I expected, with unexpected twists and turns. Some of the juicier tidbits I was able to figure out, but I still enjoyed the reveal.
Lydia Montrose and her family have been exiled from Boston, for rumors that involve her older sister. Now they have settled in Old Newbury, in the newly built Willow Hall. However, there is a foreboding presence there, which Lydia feels deeply. As well, Lydia is beginning to experience a strange and magical awakening of her own.
This is a book about family, loyalty, the weight of obligation and becoming our own, independent unit outside of those familial obligations. This book shows how women were expected to behave in the past (1821 America), how they were the ones at fault if there was any scandal, how their wishes and dreams were overshadowed by the men in their lives.
Review: Mateo and Rufus have been contacted by Death-Cast, they both are going to die in the next 24 hours. How do they plan on spending the last hours of their lives? Are they going to go out with a fizzle or with a bang?
I really enjoyed the concept of this book. A fictional company that receives notices of all deaths and contacts those who are going to die. How eerie. Brings up thoughts of whether or not you would want to know. If you knew you could put your house in order, but does it also breed fear? Does the knowing ultimately lead to your death, or is it an inevitability? So many questions to ponder, this novel makes the reader consider more than just the text before them.
The characters fell a little flat for me. As did some of the text. There were some tearful, poignant moments for sure, but there were also throw away moments or moments that seemed derived or unrealistic.
Review: Summer Mavros is spending her summer break in Greece with her parents, only all she wants to do is spend it sitting by the pool or on the beach with her friends back home in the States. If that was not bad enough, an accident finds her in the arms of Darce; he claims to be Hades, Lord of the Underworld, and insists she is the reincarnated spirit of his lost love, Persephone. Trippy, right?
A quick and interesting read that explores the mythos behind the Greek tale of Hades and Persephone, with a modern twist. There is instant chemistry between Summer and Darce, with their clashing wits and their casual smirks. Both have suffered terrible losses and this cements them together. While Summer adjusts to the Underworld, Darce becomes a stable and comforting presence. She must try to reacquaint herself with a past life she cannot remember, all while dealing with grief and the inhabitants of this unknown world.
Review: Another wicked ride with the Paper Girls, their latest time travel destination landed them on December 31st, at the transition between 1999 and 2000. The height of the Y2K crisis.
Stony Stream is experiencing a complete power failure and also seems to have a giant, fighting robot problem (that no one but Tiffany can actually see). The girls are once again separated, but this time they are more adept at figuring out next moves and finding each other.
Each of the four girls is becoming more and more complex, with lots of development and character growth. Although, Mac seems to be relinquishing her leader role, she is the character showing the least growth and learning from their travels. She is trapped in the mentality of their past and unable to grow with the experiences of the future (as seen with her dealings with KJ). She's so stuck by what she knows of her future that she cannot grow up.
Review: A new and interesting take on the fae, or in this case Siòg, folk. Turns mythology on its head and weaves an enticing tale of power, hatred, change, war and magic.
Isabeau (a favourite name, by the way) is attending her thirtieth birthday party when she unexpectedly dies. However, her death is only really the beginning of this story. In truth, she has been recruited into the Na Teagmhasach Bháis(The Contingency of Death). She has been called to bcome a Coimhdeacht (an escort or usher of Mhesen (spirits/souls) to the otherworld). She has been recruited into the ranks of the Siòg, as a "grim reaper", under the tutelage of Liam and the orders of Gideon (hubba hubba). Gideon is known as Cerberus, as he keeps watch over all and is the protector of his group of death dealers.
There are immediate sparks between Isabeau (now Iliana in her new 'life') and Gideon, although she hides behind anger and he hides behind indifference and discipline.
Review: This graphic novel was an entirely new experience. Famous singer Lights has done all of the writing, drawing, inking and colouring; as well, she composed a full length album that coincides with the storyline. Each issue includes a QR code at the beginning, which loads a page that features a song from the album (which you are to listen to while reading that section). It was such an immersive multi-media experience and I enjoyed every moment of it.
Enaia is a student at Tempest University, based in the Pink Sector (where the rich and elite live, popping pills to make them forget the harsh realities of the dying world), but En lives in the Red Sector (where the poor are just waiting for the toxic air of Tempests oil machines to kill them). She dreams of more, of hope, of finding someone so she is not so lonely. Since her mother passed away she has been aimless, but then she meets Priest and a spark returns.
Review: This is a loose adaptation of The Little Mermaid. However, this is not your Disney version, this is more in line with the gory and heartbreaking original.
Lena has always yearned for the human world, outside of the sea where she dwells in caverns in the deep. As a merrow, she is forbidden from approaching the shore or any interaction with a human. It is merrow law, enforced by the King, his Fosse-Sofolk clan (those who drown humans who come too close to merrow territory) and Poseidon himself. This law has been in place since the merrow Queen fell in love with a human, who ended up betraying her for greed (causing her death).
Lena and her brother, Javelin, live in poverty with their blind father, Carrick. The two collect human items they salvage from sunken ships and tell tales of the Queen and her human lover.
Review: A perfect blend of story and disjointed crazy, just as you would expect from a Night Vale endeavor.
At first, it was hard to get into this novel, due to it being presented in the characteristically fragmented, incoherent, vague narrative as the Night Vale podcast. However, as the story unfolds further, the unconnected pieces begin to form a somewhat cohesive whole. By the end it is an action packed roller coaster, much like the podcast.
Jackie is a pawnshop owner, unusual job for a nineteen year-old, but she does it well. That is, until a man in a tan jacket, carrying a deerskin briefcase, hands her a slip of paper that says King City. Now she finds her perfectly ordered life crumbling around her and begins to wonder why her life is stuck in a time loop at nineteen.
Review: This book tore me apart. It was raw and real and painfully honest. I think everyone should have to read this book, it is so relevant to today's rape culture and it would create much needed empathy for victims/survivors of sexual assault.
Grace returns to New Harbor, and her Uncle Rusty's home, after two years of being in foster care. Shortly after the events of a horrible night in her Uncle's home, which found Grace hopped up on ambien and waking up having been raped, her father passes away and her Uncle goes MIA. When her Uncle has finally put his act together and claimed Grace, two years of silence, denial and fear have passed. Grace has told no one what happened that night, she cut herself off from her friends and focused solely on the grief she felt at the loss of her father. She let the guilt and shame eat her up inside, causing anxiety and fear of the world around. However, when she moves to Rusty's, she finds that the person she suspects of raping her is now living right next door. Her ex-boyfriend Owen is everywhere, his presence is excruciating and she has no idea what to do or if she can ever move on.
Review: This was an adorable book about finding ones self and love in the most romantic city in the world, Paris.
Serena travels to Paris, from New York, just before Christmas in hopes of journeying in the footsteps of her parent's honeymoon. She wants to take photographs of all their favourite spots in order to create a photo album for her mother. In truth, this trip was meant to be with her mother and sister, but both skipped out last minute and have left Serena with a serious and dour French-American young man, Jean-Luc. Jean-Luc wants nothing to do with Serena, he is pressed with time to finish a major school photography assignment, to capture the essence of Paris.
It is a light, heartfelt romp around a famous city, with two well thought out and broken characters, who help each other to rebuild themselves.