Tuesday, July 17, 2012
When Rinn Jacobs moves to a new town she hopes it will be a fresh start—a place where nobody knows about her past. At first, everything goes according to plan. She falls in with the popular girls at her new school and falls for the very cute boy-next-door Nate. But River Hills High School has a secret. The ghost of a girl who died back when Rinn's mom was a student supposedly haunts a hallway. Rinn's not sure she believes it, but when strange things start happening to her friends, Rinn decides there's only one way to know for sure. She needs to ditch her bipolar meds and see what the voices are really trying to say...
This book has all the makings of a book I would love. It's YA, there's a ghost, there's a guy next door (not just a girl next door), she's angsty, she's not angsty, no she is, but she's also bipolar....aaaaaahhhhhh I love YA lit!
I really did just eat this book up. I think the fiance even got shushed at one point. The story not only WORKS, it's AWESOME.
Without giving away too much, there's a point in the story where you aren't sure just how strong a grip on reality Rinn has. I mean, the whole struggle with reality is an issue for people who have bipolar disorder. The fact that I wasn't sure about my own grip on the story-reality is a testament to how deeply involved with Rinn a reader can become. Jeannine Garsee created a really amazing character in Rinn.
Reading Garsee's bio over at her website, I learned that she's a psychiatric nurse, which explains a lot. She's got an amazing handle on Rinn's disorder, how people react to it--or don't react-- and just how Rinn herself feels and thinks. All in all, amazing.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this ebook galley from Bloomsbury Children's Books through the netGalley publisher/reader connection program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Thursday, July 12, 2012
Many visitors to Yellowstone National Park don’t realize that the boiling hot springs and spraying geysers are caused by an underlying supervolcano. It has erupted three times in the last 2.1 million years, and it will erupt again, changing the earth forever.
Fifteen-year-old Alex is home alone when Yellowstone erupts. His town collapses into a nightmare of darkness, ash, and violence, forcing him to flee. He begins a harrowing trek in search of his parents and sister, who were visiting relatives 140 miles away.
Along the way, Alex struggles through a landscape transformed by more than a foot of ash. The disaster brings out the best and worst in people desperate for food, clean water, and shelter. When an escaped convict injures Alex, he searches for a sheltered place where he can wait—to heal or to die. Instead, he finds Darla. Together, they fight to achieve a nearly impossible goal: surviving the supervolcano.
I snagged this book to read because I've received an advance copy of book two in the series, Ashen Winter. The blurb for the second book left me feeling like I needed all of the back story to understand what was going on. And for the record, now that I've started book two, YES YOU NEED TO READ THIS ONE FIRST. Book two jumps in kind of head first to the story and you'll be lost immediately if you don't have Ashfall under your belt.
Ashfall is definitely post-apocalyptic dystopian fiction. The best part of this particular apocalypse scenario is that the trigger event is one that isn't so hard to believe--the eruption of a super volcano in Yellowstone National Park. One that we do happen to know exists and hasn't erupted in 640,000 years. And when it did erupt....well.....Krakatoa ain't got nothin' on this one.
Excellent book. There's adventure, there's action, there's some blood and gore, there's even some love. All the pieces work and it was unbelievably easy to get caught up in this story. In light of the major earthquakes that have happened in the last few years, the realization that something like this is possible tomorrow, adds the scariness of this book. Not horror scary, but reality scary.
It is rather intense. I wouldn't hand this to a junior high student, definitely my 15/16 and up crowd, and can even think of some adults who would enjoy this one.
Reading other reviews, it appears to be a love/hate book. You either LOVED it, or you didn't and there doesn't seem to be much happy medium. I think if you like The Last Survivors series (by Susan Beth Pfeffer, the first book is Life As We Knew It), you'll enjoy this one. It's, frankly, awesome.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I purchased this book for my personal collection to read and review. I was not required or even asked to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Beware of Long Lankin, that lives in the moss. . . .
|Coverart from Candlewick Press|
When Cora and her younger sister, Mimi, are sent to stay with their elderly aunt in the isolated village of Byers Guerdon, they receive a less than warm welcome. Auntie Ida is eccentric and rigid, and the girls are desperate to go back to London. But what they don't know is that their aunt's life was devastated the last time two young sisters were at Guerdon Hall, and she is determined to protect her nieces from an evil that has lain hidden for years. Along with Roger and Peter, two village boys, Cora must uncover the horrifying truth that has held Bryers Guerdon in its dark grip for centuries-before it's too late for little Mimi.
Long Lankin disturbed me in the same way that Mrs. Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children did. It's about children, for goodness sake, and it's DARK. Ever so dark.
Cora and Mimi have no clue what they're in for when they are sent to stay with Aunt Ida. She clearly doesn't want them there, and it has little to do with being old and set in her ways. There's a long history of disappearances and death in her family, all of children.The village boys Cora befriends have no clue, either. There's a long-standing warning to stay away from the parish church building, with no explanation. This of course, doesn't stop anyone from exploring, though the church is little-used and frightening.I really like these characters. Cora is brave and thinks quickly. The boys personalities complement hers very well. Mimi is nearly a side character, despite the action revolving quite a bit around her. And Aunt Ida, the classic tragic character. All of them share in the telling of the story, changing narrators as needed. Thankfully, it's well done and the story doesn't lag or have missing blocks because of it.
**This title is schedule for publication on July 10, 2012. Look for it!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this ebook galley from Candlewick Press through the netGalley publisher/reader connection program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Monday, July 9, 2012
Matt’s spent years resenting his father and the church, but a once-in-a-lifetime archaeology trip forces Matt to face more than he bargained for as he and his father unearth a city that’s been lost for centuries. This thrilling adventure is bursting with laugh out loud humor, a touch of romance, and more than a little mystery.
Ok, this was an...odd...little story. I enjoyed it, I just don't think I was expecting it.
Matt's family is LDS (Mormon), and Matt has struggled not with being LDS itself, but with how his father appears to put everything before his family, including his passion for archaeology that is related to LDS history.
In this book, I learned a little more about LDS history, including some of its story line in Mexico and Central America. If you are interested in this sort of story, it's a good one. The LDS angle isn't overplayed, and I did like the little mentions of teenagers being "turned-off" by others not living up to standards of good conduct and morals.
The story itself is a good one. Archaeology is fascinating to me, and I found myself wishing I could be on a similar dig site. The characters were interesting, believable. I wish the other adults would've been developed a little more, but then, I'm an adult. My only negative about this story is that I just didn't feel like it was long enough. I really thought it could've been stretched out a bit more.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this galley from Cedar Fort : Horizon through the NetGalley publisher/reader connection program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Monday, July 2, 2012
One review I read of this title called it "delightfully creepy." I'd agree. I've never read any of Priestley's books before, but I'm definitely going to start picking them up.
Think "gothic horror." (not goth, gothic). Set in a Victorian-era time and lace, one can't help but begin to feel creeped out from the get-go. A lawyer for a guardian Michael is supposed to be uninterested in, because his own father is dead after saving this man. Then, to know that not only he is now an orphan, but this guardian wants to uproot him completely from anything and anyone he does know...in modern stories this would be a set up for many a bad thing to come---and not just ghosts.
This one captured my attention like few gothic ghost stories written post- Edgar Allan Poe can. Priestley is definitely on par with Poe, for all the descriptive writing and the intensity of the thrill...definitely a master.
Disclosure of Material Connection: This book is part of the e-book collection for my local public library system. I was not solicited to write a review, nor am I receiving any compensation. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
This work is licensed by Jennifer Turney under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.