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Thursday, October 31, 2013

REVIEW: 17 & Gone, by Nova Ren Suma

Seventeen-year-old Lauren is having visions of girls who have gone missing. And all these girls have just one thing in common—they are 17 and gone without a trace. As Lauren struggles to shake these waking nightmares, impossible questions demand urgent answers: Why are the girls speaking to Lauren? How can she help them? And . . . is she next? As Lauren searches for clues, everything begins to unravel, and when a brush with death lands her in the hospital, a shocking truth emerges, changing everything. 

This was a really interesting tale. I love the premise--missing 17 year olds making a connection with a soon-to-be 17 year old. 

It's really pretty spellbinding. I made quick work of reading this one because I was so caught up in it. THIS is what a first person point of view should read like---so incredibly "in the head" of the narrator that you forget yourself for a bit. The atmosphere in the story is dark, creepy, and thrilling. 

Lauren is completely obsessed with these teen girls, and what it means that they're contacting her. Nothing in the story was so far-fetched that I couldn't believe that it was happening, or (at the very least) that Lauren thought it was. I still don't know if she was truly experiencing the "ghosts" or if she was working through some psychological issues. This partially comes from Lauren reading as a completely empty "shell" unless one of these girls reaches out to her.

Amazing story and a great read.

What do you think??

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this ebook galley from Enter Text Here through the netGalley publisher/reader connection program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

REVIEW: Divergent, by Veronica Roth

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she's known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris's new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

I have to tell you, I'm pretty surprised by the massive number of low ratings on Amazon. So many seem to be stuck on the ending--get over it. It had to happen. (In fact, Roth addresses this in her blog post from Monday, Oct. 28th. WARNING: There are spoilers.)

This time, the story is told from two perspectives, Tris's and Tobias's (a.k.a. Four). It was interesting to get a feel for what someone else was thinking and feeling in this story, even if I do have to admit that I had to stop and double-check WHO was speaking a couple of times. The delineation of the voices could have been a bit better. 

The characters have teenage reactions and emotions because...gasp!..they're teenagers. Even if they're living in a vastly different world/society and have behaved in very adult ways...they're still kids. ANd it's okay. 

Roth wrapped up her story line quite well. I enjoyed the struggles and growing that went on as Tris and her friends not only made decisions about leaving their city, but also worked to figure out the world outside the wall and their places in it. Or not in it, as the case might be. We had closure even if it wasn't closure we were happy with, but closure doesn't have to be sunshine and daisies, you know? I've read several reviews blasting the ending for not offering any hope. But, that's just silly. There IS hope, a deeper meaning than easy to see hope. You have to pick apart relationships and actions, but it IS there. YA readers can see it....and that's really what matters.

All in all...I'm sorry to see this trilogy end. I'm attached to these characters, and who couldn't be? I can't wait to see what Veronica Roth does next.

What do you think??

Disclosure of Material Connection: I purchased this book myself. I was neither asked nor required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

REVIEW: Backward Glass, by David Lomax

Crack your head, knock you dead, then Prince Harming's hunger's fed.
It's 1977, and Kenny Maxwell is dreading the move away from his friends. But then, behind the walls of his family's new falling-apart Victorian home, he finds something incredible—a mummified baby and a note: "Help me make it not happen, Kenny. Help me stop him."
Shortly afterwards, a beautiful girl named Luka shows up. She introduces Kenny to the backward glass, a mirror that allows them to travel through time. Meeting other "mirror kids" in the past and future is exciting, but there's also danger. The urban legend of Prince Harming, who kidnaps and kills children, is true—and he's hunting them. When Kenny gets stranded in the past, he must find the courage to answer a call for help, change the fate of a baby—and confront his own destiny.

Seven Rules that must be followed...and a letter begging Kenny to help save the baby. But there's a mummified baby in the wall..wait..what?

This one hits the ground running and is an amazingly unique story. I've never read anything that feels like this one. And I would never have imagined this was a debut novel, if I hadn't read that it is! Each of the characters are real--tangible to an extent. They are amazingly mature and handle time-traveling mirrors and all of the craziness that goes with them in a much more adult manner than I probably would. The story itself is a deep read--you can't skim this and do the book (or Lomax..or yourself) justice. Pay attention, get lost in it, and enjoy being lost.

There's a mystery, time travel, teenage angst, and the need for an unlikely hero. Kenny makes mistakes, is a little too good for his own good, and still manages to be an awesome protagonist (despite my description.)

What do you think??

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this ebook galley from Flux 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.

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