Saturday, April 30, 2011

Suck It Up by Brian Meehl

Summary:(from book jacket) Dear reader, Are you up to your neck in bloodsucking vampire stories? Tired of those tales about dentally enhanced dark lords? Before I wrote this book, I thought all vampires were night stalking, fang popping, bloodsucking fiends. Then I met Morning McCobb. he drinks a soy based blood substitute called Blood Lite. He believes staking should be classified as a hate crime. And someday he hopes to march in a Vampire Pride Parade, He was also the first vampire to out himself and tries to show people of mortality, like you and me, that vampires are just another minority with special needs. Trust me- this is like no other vampire book you'll ever feed on. So, as my buddy Morning says, "Pop the lid and suck it up." Portia Dredful.
Review: I picked up this book not really knowing what it was about. I think the idea behind the story was probably the best part.The idea of a teeneage comic book geek getting turned into a vampire was an interesting idea. I just didn't really like the direction the story went in. I always like seeing what different authors can do with the vampire culture and this book was no different. I like the idea of going to school in order to learn how to overcome the temptations that being a vampire involves and how to control the powers they have. I also liked that these vampires didn;t want to stay hidden anymore but intsead they were ready to become part of the mortal world and show that vampires mean no harm. However, I thought Morning was annoying towards the end and I didn't really understand why things had to happen that way.
I never really had a connection with any of the characters and I almost got the impression that that was intentional on the author's part. The book is light hearted and filled with joking characters and geeky Morning's obsession with comic books adds to that.
 Overall, This book was just an ok read for me. The idea was better than the way things actually played out for me. But this was still a very unique take on vampires. I would be interested to read some of Meehl's other work.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

Summary:(from book jacket) Mackie Doyle is the replacement. Mackie is not one of us. Though he lives in the small town of Gentry, he comes form a world of tunnels and black murky water, a world of living dead girls ruled by a tattooed princess. He is a Replacement- left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. Now because of fatal allergies to iron, blood and consecrated ground. Mackie is slowly dying in the human world. Mackie would give anything to live among us. He just wants to play bass guitar and find out more about an oddly intriguing girl named Tate. But when Tate's baby sister goes missing. Mackie is drawn irrevocably into the underworld of Gentry, known as Mayhem. He must face the dark creatures of the slag heaps and find his rightful place, in our world, or theirs.
Review: I had mixed feelings about this book. It tooke me a while to really get into the story but once I did I enjoyed it. However, the plot wasn't very action packed and a lot of the story was dealing with Mackie's internal struggle and slowly discovering what really goes on in the town of Gentry. I was dissapointed to hear that this was written as a stand alone novel and there are currently no plans to write a sequel. I think that would have made reading this book more worthwhile because this book did involve a lot of set up and introduction of the situation in Gentry, and the end of this book marked a turning point for the town. I really liked the premise of the book and thought that it played out well even though it was slow in parts. The revealtion of everything that happens in Gentry and the reasons behind it was really great.
  I thought the characters in the book were really cool. Roswell and Emma were some of the micest characters ever. Mackie was a really great protagonist and I liked seeing the way he changed at the end of the book. I was also intruiged by the characters who lived in the House of Mayhem, the Morrigan in particular. I wanted to learn more about them and how they live and was excited whenever they were around.
 Overall, I did like this book. My only real comlaints being that it was a little slow in some parts and I wish there was going to be a sequel.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hold Still by Nina LaCour

Summary: ( from back of book). That night Ingrid told Caitlin, I'll go wherever you go. But by dawn, Ingrid was dead and Caitlin was alone. Suddenly Caitlin has to deal with a completely unfamiliar life- a life without the art, the laughter, the music, and the joy she shared with her best friend. When she finds the journal Ingrid left behind, Caitlin gets a chance to learn about another side of her friend; and the journal becomes her guide as she deals with forging new friendships, finding a first love, and learning to live without the one person who knew her best.
Review: I think this book is really good. This story shows loss in many different ways throughout, mostly in Caitlin dealing with the loss of Ingrid. I loved the way the story progressed and the way that dealing with loss slowly transformed into hope for the future. I also liked Ingrid's journal entries which were in the form of letters to people she knew when she was living. Her letters exposed the constant sadness she felt when she was alive and I thought they really let the reader understand how Ingrid was feeling before she decided to take her life and i thought that added a lot of depth and emotion to the story.
  However, a story like this can't be fully appreciated unless the characters are fully developed and relate able, and the characters in this book definitely were. Caitlin was a really interesting protagonist and she was constantly surprising me with the things she did while trying to overcome her sadness. I also really liked the other characters as well. Dylan, Taylor, Maddy, Ms. Delani, I just loved them all and loved the fact that they were each able to help Caitlin move past Ingrid's death in their own unique way though some of them were barely dealing with it themselves. I really liked this book and this story is one that will stick with me for a while.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Cloaked by Alex Flinn

Summary: (from book jacket) I'm not your average hero. I actually wasn't your average anything. Just a poor guy working an after school job at a South Beach shoe repair shop to help his mom make ends meet. But a little magic changed it all. It all started with a curse. And a frognapping. And one hot looking princess, who asked me to lead a rescue mission. There wasn't a fairy godmother or any of that. And even though I fell in love along the way, what happened to me is unlike any fairy tale I've ever heard. Before i knew it, I was spying with a flock of enchanted swans, talking ( yes, talking!) to a fox named Todd, and nearly trampled by giants in the keys. Don't believe me? I didn't believe it either. But you'll see. Because I knew it all was true, the second I got cloaked.
Review: Cloaked is a fairy tale retelling that includes elements of several less common stories. I was excited to read this book becuase I have read several of Flinn's other books and enjoyed them and overall, this one was entertaining as well. I think the best thing about this book was the premise. It was a really interesting story that wass told very well and I think this is a book that can be enjoyed by younger readers as well. The plot was well paced although some parts were predictable.
     However, I didn't really connect to the characters all that much and I felt like everything worked out for them a little to easily. Despite the fact that there wasn't a connection though, I really liked the characters and wanted things to work out for them, Johnny in particular. He was my favorite character by far.
 I think anyone who enjoys fairy tale retellings will probably like this book . It wasn't the best that I've read, but overall, it was a fun, light, sweet and entertaining read.  I have read and loved Flinn's other fairy tale retellings and this one was no exception.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Summary: (from back of book) Harriet Vanger, a scion of one of Sweden's wealthiest familes disappeared over forty years ago. All these years later her aged uncle  continues to seek the truth. He hires Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently trapped by a libel conviction, to investigate. He is aided by the peirced and tattooed punk prodigy Lisbeth Salander. Together they tap into a vein of iniquity and corruption.
Review: I had heard so many good things about this book form many people before I finally picked this one up. I was a little hesitant to read this because it's not the type of book I usually read so I wasn't sure if I would like it. However, I am glad I did because I really enjoyed it. Henrik Vanger has been haunted by the mystery of Harriet's death for forty years and has hired Mikael to investigate as a last attempt to learn the truth. They mystery unfolds amazingly and I love the way the story progressed. It was a little hard for me to keep some of the characters straight sometimes and I didn't enterly understand some of the business aspects of the story but other than those minor things this book was really good. I have to say though that the beginning is a little bit slow and it may take time to get into the story but don't give up on it. Once the plot picks up it is worth it. The ending is very shocking and is a great ending to the book.
 The characters in this book are all really interesting, especially the many members of the Vanger family. I liked following along with the mystery and wondering who has secrets about what really happened. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a great mystery to read. I will definitely be reading the other two books in the trilogy.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Fade to Blue by Sean Beaudoin

Summary: Sophie Blue is sarcastic, artistic, and always decked out on black leather and Midnight Noir lipstick. A year ago on her birthday, her dad left. Or spontaneously combusted. Or joined and amazonian cult. In any event, it's sorta bad timing, since a scary Popsicle truck with tinted windows has started circling the house. Kenny Fade is a basketball god. He's got the cheerleader, the scoring title, the matching sweat suit, ans sneakers that cost more than his jeep. He's the guy all the ladies( and their mommas) want. Bad.
Review: This book is really far out and weird. The plot was crazy and there were things happening at every second. The crazy plot kept me hooked on this book though. I wanted to know and although this book is short I finished it pretty quickly. I didn't entirely understand what was happening sometimes which might drive some people crazy, but in this case I didn't really mind it. As the plot moves on I started to understand what was happening more and overall, I liked the story a lot. However, when I finished reading I wasn't entirely sure where the story had ended.
  The characters in the book are all really unique and entertaining to follow, but not really all that developed. Again it didn't really affect this particular book all that much. The characters were so wrapped up in the crazy plot and I do think they were all very well written. I don't think this was really the story for serious character development.
 Overall, I would only recommend this book to people who want to read a sci fi sort of crazy story. If your not interested in that than you probably won't like this. I will definitely be looking out for other things by this author.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

Summary:(from book jacket) Three angels- Gabriel, the warrior, Ivy, the healer, and Bethany, the youngest and most human- are sent by Heaven to bring good to a world falling under the influence of darkness. They work hard to conceal their luminous glow, superhuman powers, and, most dangerous of all, their wings, all the while avoiding all human attachments. Then Bethany meets Xavier Woods, and neither of them is able to resist the attraction between them. Gabriel and Ivy do everything in their power to intervene, but the bond between Xavier and Bethany seems too strong. The angel's mission is urgent, and dark forces are threatening. Will love ruin Bethany or save her?
Review: This is a really interesting take on paranormal romance because the story is told from the perspective of the paranormal one instead of the human. For this book in particular I really enjoyed the difference. It took me a while to get into it because the reader goes into the story already knowing everything. However, once I really got into I liked it a lot. I also liked the fact that these characters weren't fallen angels but were still very much a part of heaven and what goes on there.I did think that considering the length of the book the plot was slow paced.
  I thought the characters in this book were pretty cool. I enjoyed getting to know all of them over the course of the book. I just thought that Xavier and Beth having a relationship worked out a little bit too easily for them. don't get me wrong they faced a fair amount of conflict it just wasn't about their relationship. However, this story was very well written and I am just a little bit jealous of the fact that miss Adornetto was only 18 when this was published and has had other books published in Auatralia when she was even younger than that. I would reccomend this book to anyone who wants an interesting take on paranormal romance. I was also reallly excited to hear that there is going to be a sequel.