Monthly Archives: July 2011

*Review* Timeless – Alexandra Monir

 

Timeless

Alexandra Monir

280 pages

ISBN 9780385738385

Read 5-20-11

     In Timeless, Michele Windsor has a wonderful life with her mother until a car accident takes her mother from her and she is thrown into a life with the rich Windsor family she never met.  Her mother’s parents take her in and she has a giant life change in this new upper class society she never thought she would experience.  Michele comes to possess a key that matches one from a dream she had and finds herself hurled into the past after reading a diary she found.  Not only does she meet other Windsor’s from the past, but also a boy she can’t help feeling a magnetism toward.
     I was very excited about a romantic story between two people from very different times; surprisingly, not as much of the story was focused on this aspect like I had hoped.  Most of the book is centered around her trips to the past and helping her long gone relatives, so I would have liked to have seen more of the love story.  I enjoyed the author’s descriptions of old New York when Michele was in the past; she does a great job in her imagery. 
     Monir is a first time novelist, and she is a song writer; I like how she wove some lyrics and musical elements into the story since I am a music person myself (I was in band all throughout school).  She does well with the relationships between characters and breaking down their emotional barriers.  The sequel will be released sometime next year and I can’t wait to see how the love story aspect plays out and to see how the rest of the mysteries unfold.

Not a lot in the love department, lovely descriptions, mysterious.   3.5 stars

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Filed under 3.5 Stars, Fiction, Science Fiction, Young Adult

*Review* Hereafter – Tara Hudson

 

Hereafter

Tara Hudson

404 pages

ISBN: 9780062026774

Read 7-27-11

     Hereafter is a ghostly, supernatural YA novel about a dead teenage girl, Amelia, who wanders about lost between the living world and the afterlife, numb to everything until she meets Joshua when he is drowning in the same river where she herself drowned.  When she realizes that he can see her, her world drastically changes. 
     I am a person who likes to have closure when it comes to a story; I’m not crazy about unresolved issues.  There are many mysteries in this novel, most are answered, but some are still left unanswered by the time the novel comes to an end.  I checked into the author’s upcoming works, and I found that she will be having at least three Hereafter novels, the next of which is called Arise, so more of the mysteries should be solved.
     I enjoyed the descriptions the author used, especially when describing the netherworld.  It is interesting to see things from the perspective of a ghost girl who doesn’t even know who she is because of the dead fog she is in. Her world becomes so much brighter when she meets Joshua, who is very sweet and accepting with the situation they are in.  They are plagued by many difficulties through the story, and though Amelia may be dead, she isn’t about to just give up on what she currently has.  I even really liked the fact that the reader learned about Amelia as she learned about herself.
     A good story about believing in yourself, protecting the ones you care about and love in the afterlife.  I look forward to seeing how the story progresses in the subsequent Hereafter novels.  For me the book wasn’t super fabulous, but it was enjoyable.  I recommend it to those who enjoy supernatural stories, but not excessively so.

Mysterious, good imagery, some unresolved issues, great characters.   3.75 stars.

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Filed under 3.5 Stars, Fiction, Supernatural, Young Adult

*Review* Memento Nora Review

 

Memento Nora

Angie Shibert

192 pages

ISBN: 9780761458296

Read 7-16-11

     This is a pretty short novel about a teenage   girl, Nora, who lives in a very violent world with numerous bombings and many other bad things.  After she witnesses a horrendous event, her mother takes her to a TFC clinic where she can simply take a pill to forget the whole incident.  Upon learning what her mother has come to forget, she makes the decision not to take the pill.  She meets new friends, Micah and Winter, and together they start a comic to let people know about the things that are going on and the comic spreads like wild fire.
     The story itself was a very good concept, but I think it had a lot more potential that was not tapped into.  There wasn’t as much focus on the comic strip as I thought there would be and it was rather short lived.  The characters, however, were well written and had development, especially Nora.  I felt Nora was a very strong and mature person with the choices she made and the situations she was part of.
     I did enjoy the way the author painted Nora’s world and the chaos that was in it.  There were a few twists to the story, a few I figured out, a few I didn’t, and I really liked the way it ended.  There will be a sequel to this book, and I will be reading it to see how Nora’s world changes after everything she went through. 

Chaotic, short-lived, fast-paced, had more potential.   3 stars.

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Filed under 3 Stars, Dystopian, Fiction, Science Fiction, Young Adult

*Review* Exposed- Kimberly Marcus

Exposed

Kimberly Marcus

260 pages

ISBN:  9780375866937

Read 7-17-11

     Exposed is a very open, poetic story about two best friends, Kate, a dancer, and Liz, a photographer, who have known each other for years.  They are practically inseparable until they get into a fight at one of their monthly sleepovers and Kate starts to act oddly around Liz.  That night changed both of their lives forever, and their friendship.
     This was the first book I ever read that was written in poems.  It has a very different, artistic feel to it that has a nice flow that is unique to this type of novel and I thoroughly enjoyed this style of writing.  It took no time at all to read it; I sped through it in about 2 hours.  Obviously, it is a very fast read, which is precisely how I like my books.
     As for the story, it deals with a tough situation and your heart is yanked in two different directions just like Liz’s.  Liz is put into the middle and doesn’t know which way to lean.  It’s a very strong story with honest words and a lot of turmoil for the main characters.  As the title says, characters are exposed in ways they never thought they would be and they have to cope with what happened and how it affected them.

Raw, honest, poetic, turbulent.   4 stars

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Filed under 4 Stars, Fiction, Verse, Young Adult

*Reviews* Mermaids, Mermaids, Mermaids!

     Here’s a fact about me:  I love mermaids!  They are my favorite mythical creature.  EVER.  I love paintings, water globes, figurines, puzzles, movies and especially books with mermaids.  In my opinion, there just aren’t enough mermaid novels, but I do have a few here for review.  I loved all three of these books and hope to see a boom in mermaid stories.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forgive My Fins                                                          Fins are Forever 

Tera Lynn Childs                                                           Tera Lynn Childs

293 pages                                                                      320 pages

ISBN: 9780061914652                                                   ISBN: 9780061914683

Read 2010                                                                      Read 7-6-11 

     Forgive My Fins is the first tale of Lily Sanderson, a teenage mermaid living on land with her aunt, Rachel.  Lily is the princess of an underwater kingdom, and half human.  She’s been attending high school and living like a (mostly) normal girl after finding out her mother was human to try to decide where she feels she fits in.  Lily has a major crush on a classmate, Brody, who is also a star swim team member, and she hopes to fulfill a mermaid bond with him and take him home.  But, it isn’t as easy as Lily had hoped and she runs into a few bumps along the way, mainly one named Quince, who she sees as nothing but irritating.
     This story is fun and full of life.  The world that the author creates is vibrant, colorful, and filled with wonderful characters.  This whole novel is very playful and bright as are the characters.  Lily is a great main character and it’s very amusing to see things from her point of view.  She has her own teenage mergirl fishy slang that adds to her charm and my already instant liking.  My second favorite character was definitely Quince and his goofy ways.  He has a very light-hearted, joking attitude most of the time, but he gets serious when the need arises.  All of the characters are well written; a great group for this book.
     Not only is there the setting of a nice beachy town and high school on land, but there is also the kingdom of Thalassinia, and the author does a fantastic job creating two vivid worlds.  The cover is wonderful and is a mirror of the colorful world inside.  As for the plot, I thought it was incredibly amusing and I couldn’t put the book down.  What wouldn’t be funny about a mermaid princess who thinks she’s in love and gets herself wrapped up into a royal mess?  Recommended for anyone who enjoys fast-paced, fun young adult romances.

Cheerful, bright, amusing, fast-paced, fantastic!   4.5 stars

  Fins are Forever is the second installment in Lily Sanderson’s fun, fishy tale.  She found love in the first book, but what will she have to give up in this novel to be able to keep it?  A lot of stress is put onto Lily’s shoulders as she prepares for quickly upcoming her birthday ball on top of SATs when her bratty baby cousin Dosinia shows up at Aunt Rachel’s front door.  There are so many problems for Lily to fix, and you root for her the entire way; I was even mentally trying to remind her of the things she forgot. 
     We have all the same great characters from the first novel, with the addition of Tellin, a childhood friend of Lily’s who suddenly shows up on a visit back to Thalassinia, but Lily finds out his intentions are not just to catch up with an old friend.  Dosinia is a bigger character, and problem child, for this novel, and we get to learn more about this royal pain of a cousin and who she really is. 
     The plot is a really good and a deeper issue than the first novel, covering multiple problems that are not that simple to answer.  The author takes on these more difficult dilemmas, but still keeps the story upbeat and bright.  Another fantastically fun Fins book!

Fast-paced, highly enjoyable, a little heavier issues, lively.  Another 4.5 star rating!

Tempest Rising (read 6-10-11)

Tracy Deebs

352 pages

ISBN: 0802722318

     Another wonderful mermaid book, but much different than Childs’ Fins books.  Where the Fins books are bright and cheerful, Tempest Rising is a darker mermaid tale.  The beautiful covers of the books are like a window into the moods of the books.  Tempest Maguire has known for a long time that a choice would be coming, the choice between the world on land, and the world in the sea.  Everything feels so natural in the water of course, since she is a teenage mermaid who hasn’t transitioned yet, but she is determined never to choose the mermaid side of herself since she blames her mother’s leaving on the believe she chose the merworld over her own family.
     At first, Tempest’s life seems to be like any other teenage girl; she goes to school, has a boyfriend, hangs with her friends and does surfing (which she’s naturally good at as expected), but she knows her life is far from normal or perfect.  Aside from the choice she has to make, an evil sea witch has been after her since before her mother left.  Her life as she knows it starts to crumble away in the weeks before her 17th birthday. 
     During a raging storm, Tempest spots someone riding a massive wave in the storm, and instantly, she knows he is different.  He keeps showing up, and she starts to question what it is that she feels for him and her boyfriend, Mark.  Eventually, in a crisis, she is forced to go into the sea.  Hard choices and heavy burdens are placed on Tempest throughout this darkly beautiful novel that pulls at your heartstrings. 
     Wonderfully written with strong characters and an intense story line, brilliant and heartbreaking.  Recommended for those who know everybody’s lives are not perfect and some are a lot harder than others who enjoy dark teen fantasy.

Dark, hard choices, not your average everything-will-be-ok teen read, lovely.  4.5 stars!

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Fantasy, Fiction, Young Adult