Review of “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”

Happy Monday, everyone!

This review doesn’t follow the typical review outline. I will not give a synopsis of the novel. I will however, discuss the literary qualities that I felt were strengths and weaknesses for the novel.

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Back Blurb: A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of peculiar photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote  island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, As Jacob explores its decaying bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that Miss Peregrine’s children were more than just peculiar. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for a good reason. And somehow-impossible though it seems-they may still be alive.

Author: Ransom Riggs

Publisher: Quirk Books

Publishing Date: 2011

Rating:basic-5-point-blue-star-beveledbasic-5-point-blue-star-beveledbasic-5-point-blue-star-beveledbasic-5-point-blue-star-beveledbasic-5-point-blue-star-beveled

Review:

This is another one of those books that I picked up, over and over and over again, and then put down because it just didn’t seem like my thing. When I saw a review on it that only gave it praise my first response was, Whaaa? So I picked it up again, wondering what about it was so good. I mean, the cover rocks and just skimming through, the pictures are eerie, but it just wasn’t my kind of book. Then, a friends gave a raving review and I was sold.

The coolest thing about this book is that it is not what you would expect. I thought horror when I picked it up, but it isn’t. More YA fantasy. Try “X-men” meets the “Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.” Odd mix, but I stand by it.

The main character was Jacob and I think his internal voice was written SO well. I love that whole, I don’t think I’m strong enough but I perform with bravery and confidence crap. It makes for an attractive male. It wasn’t tedious being in his head through and entire book, as with some novels.

I felt like Miss Peregrine should have either had more of a role, or been more friendly. She seems more like a device only used to convey information.

Emma was interesting, and the whole relationship between her and Jacob could be defined as sweet, or really screwed up. Or maybe both? But as a ball-buster and someone who acts then thinks, she came across as refreshing in a world that the reader didn’t quite understand in the beginning portions of the novel.

The setting description was great. As Riggs described the island, I could totally imagine something like that off the page of a spiral calendar hanging on my grandma’s fridge. So, good on that.

As far as the genre fantasy…first novels do have trouble getting into the meat of the genre, and this is definitely the first in a series. Which surprised me, because it struck me as a stand alone. Alas, the main character has to be introduced to his new world before adventuring through it. I am excited to dive into the second one and see Riggs’s more detailed world building.

Favorite Quote: Stars, too, were time travelers. How many of those ancient points of light were the last echoes of suns now dead? How many had been born but their light not yet come this far? If all the suns but ours collapsed tonight, how many lifetimes would it take us to realize we were alone? I had always known the sky was full of mysteries—but not until now had I realized how full of them the earth was.

Have you read this book?? What did you think?

 

 

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Thankful Three

Today is normally Thursday Thrifts, and I may put a review from one of my many thrifting finds up later in the day, after the turkey and pie, but this morning I want to go over the top three books that I am thankful for.

  1. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling.

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I have seen this series on SOOO many thankful posts this week and, truly, I am one of the crowd. My mother brought me home HP when I was in grade school. The book had only come out a couple years before, if that, and my mom had seen a News program featuring the release in America. So she thought I might enjoy it. At that, folks, is how I was sucked into the world of Hogwarts and wizards and Voldemort. And I haven’t looked back since.

 

 

2. A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers

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Many of you probably haven’t heard of this one because it is written for a very specific audience. This story is about a young girl named Hadassah who is taken into captivity when Rome destroys Jerusalem, and taken to Rome in a time when Christianity means getting thrown in with the lions. This book is amazing because it has great historical context, a coming of age story for a girl finding her faith, a love story, and just enough suspense and gore to keep you interested. It is also an awesome book for anyone on their own spiritual journey.

 

3. A Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh

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This book is leagues away from my #2 but just as important to me. Yes, it is a romance, but this book made me understand what it takes to be a good writer. Singh took a tough concept that could have blown up in her face and created a stunning world that I would love to wake up in. I step into every single one of the books from this series with no regrets. She sets the bar for my own writing and I know that I am no where near capable of this amount of depth in a story. Not yet anyway. I re-read these every year without fail, and if that’s not a sign I am thankful, I don’t know what is.

What three books are you thankful for???

Post them up on your own blog and leave the link in the comments for everyone to check out.

 

See ya after the pie, blogworld.

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Writing Wednesday- Chapter 2

Writing Wednesday

Welcome to Writing Wednesday! If you’re interested in a YA paranormal with a hint of romance from a, currently, unpublished writer! Look no further!

Here’s a quick blurb, introducing the story.

My name is May. Welcome to my ordinary life.

Everything about my life was planned out just the way I wanted it. I would graduate from high school in a few short months as valedictorian, after beating out the rough competition of the thirty other kids at my tiny school. I would attend Yale University in the Fall. I would also find some way to save my stagnant relationship with my loyal boyfriend Henry, because he is too good to lose.

Look out, world! My life would finally begin.

Now, tell me this. What do I do when my ordinary life crashes like a mirror on concrete? What do I do, when my friends and I get mistaken for deviant youths, kidnapped, and experimented on by an insane scientist?

Queue crickets? My thoughts exactly.  

I can handle the kidnapping. I can handle the horrific experiments. But no one can blame a girl who cracks when her boyfriend is taken and reprogrammed to hate her and kill her. Slowly. With a lot of pain.

How do I know for sure? Because I was reprogrammed, too. Now, to my dismay I am stuck seeing the future as my subconscious chooses to show it to me.

What do I see? My death. At the hands of the guy I love.

Good-bye, ordinary life.

If you are just joining me, take a look back at the First Chapter to catch up on the story!

“The Hybrid Chronicles: Time Begins”

Chapter 2

Puzzle Piece Uno

Dinner was everything I had expected. It was impossible not to feel comfortable around someone who climbed trees with me through elementary school and knew exactly when my time of the month was because he spent more time at my house than his. He had watched as I changed from a kid to a woman and thought I was beautiful the entire time, having more confidence in me than I had in myself. Henry had never lied to me and knew all the tiny things that made me feel better, like Christmas cards and pink roses, and the smell of the air before a storm.

So as we grabbed pasta that weekend at our usual diner, we talked about the upcoming Spring Break camping trip, and visiting Yale in the summer.

“You think you’ll love it?”

“I’m not sure. But I know it’s different than here, so probably.”

“And once you’ve conquered it? Then what?” He joked. Henry never understood my lack of enthusiasm for things after the mystery died. Like Tessa, he preferred a smaller life. Unlike Tessa, he wasn’t the devil. I had tried explaining to him on multiple occasions why I needed to continue moving forward but he didn’t feel the same need to find a new problem once he had already solved one.

“I wonder if anyone really conquers Yale.”

His green eyes grew serious. “You will. Do you think you will come back?” I heard the minute trace of insecurity beneath the question and wanted more than anything to tell him that yes, I would eventually come back and we would get married and have babies and buy a big house and smile until we died.

I remained silent.

He sighed and I could see him shaking off his disappointment. Me going away wasn’t something he cared to talk about and for the most part we had avoided the conversation instead of dealing with it. “How about we go stargazing tonight?”

I grinned at his suggestion. We had started stargazing at thirteen when we had gotten lost in the woods one night after building a fort in the forest behind Henry and Katie’s house. The darker it got and the farther we wandered from the house, while trying to find the house, the loud and shriller Katie got and the snottier Tessa got, as she normally did when overly stressed.

Henry had looked to me to figure it out.

Nerves ate at me as well, but in looking for the answer, I tilted my head to the sky and saw a beautiful sight. I remembered thinking that as long as we stayed in one spot someone would find us because someone would always look for us. So I suggested we stargaze until their dad came out to find us, who I knew would have already started looking because we should have headed in at sunset. I pointed out star constellations that I had learned from my summer camp and made all of them find a picture in the stars and tell a story that went with it. Within the hour, their dad had found us and led us back to the house.

Then and there, a stargazing tradition was born and though Tessa and Katie had stopped joining us, both too bored with sitting for hours, Henry and I still enjoyed it.

Once we drove out of town, Henry pulled off the road and onto a beaten path that threw me around the bench seat in the truck. When he stopped in a small clearing with an unhindered view of the sky we climbed into the back of his Chevy’s bed and lay down to watch the starry night above us.

We had passed too many years together to feel the need to fill the silence, so we both lay, arm against arm and thigh against thigh listening to the sound of the owls and the crickets and each other’s breathing in the calm, quiet night.

The warmth from his hand enveloped my smaller, cold one and I rubbed my thumb over the calluses he had gained from all his extracurricular activities. Henry had strong, capable hands.

“How was Jujitsu yesterday?”

He squeezed my hand. “Good. Normal. Just learning to kick butt.”

I started to laugh but cut myself off when he suddenly leaned over me and put a forearm on either side of my head. His body heat enveloped me; his face was inches from mine and his body hovered just above me, blocking my view of the sky.

I felt the air around me charge, but couldn’t tell if it was my air or his. Or both. I never knew with Henry. Our first kiss had occurred on a muddy field in junior high as we ran our weekly mile. He raced past me and shoved me forward as he went, issuing a challenge about my running skills. So I tore off after him. Home plate signified the end of the run our teacher had asked us to do, and Henry beat me there. He watched me the rest of the way, a grin on his face and his hands hanging loosely on his hips. When I finally reached him, I planned to give him a piece of my mind and instead he had pulled me to him and laid one on me.

I remembered the thrill of his lips on mine and the electricity that ran through every nerve I possessed, not to mention sheer happiness that Henry had done it. Now, his face came down toward mine and my eyes slid shut while I tried to find that chemistry once more. A whisper of sensation met my skin but before I could even pucker my lips his body stiffened and lifted off mine. I opened my eyes and sat up in confusion.

“Hen-“

“Shh,” he said while he gestured me over to where he now knelt at the end of the bed of the truck. I went without question. His muscles flexed and his eyes darted through the dark trees around us. We weren’t that far out of town, could still see some of the lights in the distance, glowing a soft yellow that didn’t hinder our view of the night sky.

A wheezing sound from the darkness made me jerk my head south. My throat closed up.

Henry’s hand crept toward his pocket and he removed his keys, holding them in a fist so they didn’t clink together. He reached back with that hand to give me the keys and said, “Start the truck.”

I felt like my skin wasn’t fitting right. Adrenaline coursed through me along with a goodly dose of fear. I didn’t want to move from his side. What if I got off the back bed and whatever walked toward us ate me or chewed me up or killed me with massive claws. Once Spring hit, bears started coming out of the caves in the area, and curious other wildlife, looking for food. We didn’t normally have too many issues with them though.

When I didn’t move right away, Henry motioned me with a swing of his hand to get moving.

May, grow a pair, I thought to myself.

I swung my legs over the back in a slow movement and put my hands on the edge of the dropped gate. My body tensed to drop to the ground when the wheezing sound came again but much closer. I jumped off in a rush and faced the direction it had come from, breathing hard and squinting into the blackness that had seemed so peaceful moments before.

A small shift in the shadows drew my eyes but then everything went still again.

“What do you think it is?” I whispered.

Henry came off the tailgate and stepped close to me, not answering.

Another movement from the same area, and we both knew it would breach the tree line in moment’s, mere feet from us.

My fists clenched and I fought the urge to flee knowing that some animals would give chase.

The wheezing sound came again and something that looked like a wounded animal shifted out of the brush. The darkness hindered our view at first and as the thing came closer, I squint to get a better look in the night. Henry dragged me behind him and turned to face it, but I stepped to the side to see.

Its feet dragged, its lungs wheezed and suddenly the shadows formed a figure, a head and body, legs and feet.

My breath caught.

“It’s a girl,” Henry breathed beside me. “It’s a little girl.” He moved forward at a dead run and shouted back at me, “May, call 9-1-1!”

At first I just stood there watching the small girl move forward. Then in a flurry of movement I tripped around the truck to the cab and grabbed my phone from the front seat. My fingers shook as I tried to slide the screen to unlock it, eventually settling for the emergency call button.

I sprinted over to Henry and the girl with every intention of helping, somehow, but as I got closer I came to a dead stop. She lay on the ground with her head in Henry’s lap, just a small child, no more than ten. She had white blonde hair that looked gray in the moonlight and wore a black set of what looked like scrubs, as if she had come from a hospital. She had no shoes. My brain processed all these details on autopilot because my attention was riveted on her eyes.

She wept blood. It gushed from her eyes like sobs but the only sound she made was the wheezing of overworked lungs. My own lungs ached as I listened to hers labor on, trying to get oxygen into her system and failing.

Henry had taken off his hoodie sweater and wiped at her stained cheeks with it. His hands were red from the effort. I could hear him whisper words, nonsense words, comforting her in any way he could.

Static against my ears reminded me that I had someone on the line and I pushed one side of my hair behind my ear to hear the dispatcher.

“My name is May Brooks; I need to report a severely injured child. We are off Highway 82 just outside of town. I don’t know how she was injured. She is bleeding from…from her eyes, though they look undamaged.” I stepped closer to see her injuries better and as I moved the child started seizing on the ground.

“She is having a seizure.” My voice had risen as I went to my knees on the opposite side of Henry and the child. The dispatcher told me to stay calm and gave me directions to get the child through the seizure unharmed.

I spared a single glance at Henry who looked shaken but clearheaded. He tried to hold her down while the seizure continued but I stopped him and placed his sweater under her head so she wouldn’t hurt herself too badly until it petered out.

Once she lay still, she curled in on herself in Henry’s lap and I felt pinpricks of tears in my own eyes. He continued to clean off her cheeks and this time more blood didn’t replace what he had taken off. We said nothing to one another, both listening to the sound of her strenuous breathing. I tried to think of something to say, anything to make this more real, more bearable, but nothing came to mind.

In minutes I heard the ambulance in the distance. I gave the dispatcher a few land marks and hung up, turning on the help light for my phone. I looked down at the child and jerked away from her when I saw her steady gaze on mine.

“Your eyes…” I deadpanned. Her eye color were pure, undiluted silver with a bright ring of green around the iris. Henry watched her as well with a look of shock. “Can you tell me your name?”

She just stared at me. The sirens turned onto the side road we had taken to get here and the girl’s body jerked to the side as if she wanted to run but her body wouldn’t cooperate. The creepy silver irises did switchbacks in the whites of her eyes and Henry and I looked at each other in panic, afraid she might start seizing again.

I shivered as a breeze picked up around me, wishing Summer would start a few months early. The breeze blew steadily around us and branches hit against one another. I looked around, thinking that a storm must be coming through.

A high pitched howling started and I jumped at the sound before I realized that the wind had caused it by racing through the trees, hitting branches as it made its way through the forest. Leaves fell from the giants above us and twisted around us and through us. One landed on the girl and I swept it to the side, sending it off with the wind once more.

Any light we’d had from the moon was lost under an instant cloud cover making it hard to see Henry or the girl even with the small light from my phone. I looked up into the sky and the wind hit my face like a slap taking the breath straight from my mouth and making my hair fly out around me.

“What’s happening?” I had to yell over the bluster now. With the trees so close together in the small copse, the funneling of the wind reached a scream around us and I couldn’t hear Henry’s answer but his wide eyes stared back at mine.

I looked down; the child’s eyes remained fixed on the sky above her and her and she had stopped trying to take in large breathes and instead her chest pumped up and down with short, shallow breaths in.

I reached a hand out and felt her erratic pulse fading fast and the quick bursts of her inhales started dropping down to nothing. Her lips moved and on instinct I leaned down, my hair covered our faces like a sheet. “What? What is it?”

I couldn’t hear anything she said. I drew back an inch and tried to read her lips.

“Won’t?” I asked. “Won’t go?”

Over and over she said the words until eventually the mantra made sense. I looked at Henry in question but his attention stayed on the irregular weather and the incoming ambulance.

I laid my hand on her cheek. “You don’t have to go back,” I said, hoping it sounded soothing.

I felt a hitch in her breath and as quickly as the chaos started, it stopped. The wind died, the howling grew silent, the moon shined once more and the ambulance pulled to a stop next to us. I sat up and looked around me. Everything sat with the same calm as before, perfect weather for stargazing.

Henry and I looked at each other, but as I opened my mouth I had no idea what to say.

The emergency medical service people came over and shoved us, with polite firmness, out of the way. We went without argument. As we stepped back I caught sight of the little girl’s eyes one more time. The silver hadn’t diminished with the storm. Her mercury gaze, vacant now, continued to stare and tears slipped out of my own eyes. I reached up to brush them off my cheek and was almost surprised to see that they weren’t blood.

 

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this story! Hope it has kept you interested thus far and I am SO interested to hear any comments.

Review for “Cinder”

I found a series that I like! Any hardcore reader understands that feeling. The elation, the giddiness, the rainbow happiness bursting inside. A new series!

This review doesn’t follow the typical review outline. I will not give a synopsis of the novel. I will, however, discuss the literary qualities I liked and disliked about it.

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Click to buy the book on Amazon!

Blurb: Even in the future, the story begins with Once Upon a Time…Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl…

Sixteen year old Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past and is reviled by her step-mother. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world future. Because there is something unusual about Cinder, something that others would kill for.

Title: “Cinder”

Author: Marissa Meyer

Publisher: Feiwel And Friends–Square Fish (Macmillan)

Publishing Date: 2013

Star Rating: fourstars[1]

Favorite Quote: “Vanity is a factor, but it is more a question of control. It is easier to trick others into perceiving you as beautiful if you can convince yourself you are beautiful. But mirrors have an uncanny way of telling the truth.”

Review

As I said at the beginning  this post, it took me awhile to pick up this book. I have seen SO many people reading it and constant review posts about it, but the back blurb just never intrigued me enough. I picked up the book countless times, read the back, and put it back on the shelf.

After reading it last week I was glad I picked it up.

The book is exceedingly simple for such a broad concept. The world Meyer created was expansive and has potential to an umpteenth degree, which is awesome. She placed the story in the future in New Beijing including a monarchy, and cyborgs, and moon colonies etc. So cool. I read a review that said she went on and on with the description of the world…and I completely disagree with that. I think she could have added fifty MORE pages of description. Her writing style is succinct. It made this book an easy read. Almost too easy. I’m a fairly quick reader, but when I can devour a book in 2.5 hours and it is meant for tweens, it probably needs some deeper vocabulary.

That being said, for the ease of the wording, the story did not lack at all. I think what I most liked about the author’s style was her ability to say just enough that a reader, with a little imagination, could think up an entire world. But do I hope that the next books with feature stronger wording? Yes. Meyer can go anywhere with this world. I hope she challenges herself with it.

On to the characters. There was a wide cast, which I can imagine growing in later books. Something I have noticed with debut authors, and Meyer is no exception, there always seems to be a stoic heroine and a cheeky best friend. Almost ALWAYS. I don’t really like this, even though, when I write my own stories, I do the exact same thing at times. I felt like Cinder had an identity crises a few times. She would randomly bust out with these smart ass comments that didn’t really suit her personality. I think they better suited the quirky author behind the pages. All the other characters in the novel, held up well to scrutiny. Can I just say even though, I think the best character, the cheeky best friend, better resurrect herself in the next book.

The love story. Meh. I get that it is a quadrilogy (Is that a word?) but as I understand it, they all have a little love story in them, it drives me batty when the love isn’t tied at the end of novels. I want a confirmation that they at least like each other. But as it stands at the end of “Cinder” one of them is doe-eyed and the other is under the impression that the first is a big, fat liar. Which they are. I know, I know, cliff hanger blah, blah, blah. But come on. If it is a coming of age story, don’t make so much of the story about a guy, if it’s a love story, MAKE it a love story.

To sum up the scrutiny;

World building=YES! MORE!

Characters=I’m on board! Though they can be tightened.

Love story=Features some of my pet peeves, but not poorly written.

Who would I recommend this to? Tweens, for sure. Anyone who like a fantastical, unique element to a story. Anyone who likes fairytales.

2016 Mt. TBR Reading Challenge

Mount TBR 2016[1]

I’m so excited that I happened across this challenge. Thank you to The Book Hoarder for posting it. I am going to try my best to reach Mt. Everest, which is reading 100 books on my TBR list! I read way more than that in a year…but that TBR list, it really needs to be read down.

If you want to jump in on the challenge, sign up here!

Now, I am off to the dusty shelves to pick my books for next year.

Fantasy Friday Review of “Perdition”

Fantasy Friday

Welcome to Fantasy Friday! Where I have a group of fantastically prone people read and write reviews. This first review isn’t Fantasy per say, but were going to review it anyway because KatyB is awesome!

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Title: Perdition

Author: Ann Aguirre

Genre: Syfi (Fantasy- for the purpose of today…)

Rating:fourstars[1]

Publisher: The Berkley Publishing Group

Publishing date: 2013

The book I am going to discuss/review is called Perdition by Ann Aguirre. The premise of the book is about hard core criminals that get sent to an abandoned mining facility for life. It is about how the main characters survive the trials and hardships of being locked away with hundreds of other criminals, oh, did I forget to mention it takes place in space. I got referred to this book and decided to go ahead and give it a shot even though syfi generally is not my thing.

The main characters name is Dresdemona Devos aka ‘The Dread Queen’ she is the queen on the main area we follow in the book called Queensland. The eventual love interest and all around bad ass of the book is named Jael, he is hot and full of surprises. There is really only two other primary characters without whom the book would have ended even before it started; their names are Tam and Einar. They play the role of brain and muscle bodyguards for our beloved queen. Now that you have the main players let’s get down to talking about the book. Like I said earlier the story is about Queensland trying to survive in a nest of criminals, the jail has been portioned off into five separate kingdoms all with their own governments and rules.

I find that the subject of the book is slightly disturbing but at the same time fascinating, I wondered how I would be able to empathize with criminals. It didn’t end up being as difficult as I had worried, all the main characters were sharp and witty making it easy to fall in love with them and not want them to end up dead. The book itself is on the gory side and it doesn’t take long to realize this once you start. So if you aren’t into gore or torture and death then this type of book is not for you. Ann brings in every avenue of fear we as people have of convicted criminals, from the religious fanatics all the way to cannibals. The book was fast paced and action packed, it kept me interested all the way through, by the end you even find yourself rooting for these criminals. So if you are a syfi nut or just need a quick, intense, ‘good read’ then Perdition is the book for you.

Tell us what you think or if you have a Fantasy recommendation for next week!!

See ya tomorrow, blogworld.

 

Thursday Thrift- “The Silver Kiss”

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Reviewing used books that I got at a great price!!

For my first Thursday Thrift I found an amazing book at Yesterday’s Books, a new and used bookstore a couple towns over from me. This book initially got me into reading paranormal romance, if not reading altogether. I first read “The Silver Kiss” when I was in 7th grade and it was an AMAZING discovery for me. Romance, suspense, and sexiness all rolled into one YA package. I was intrigued. So, when I found on the shelf for $2, I gave myself a high five and bought it.

The Silver Kiss Cover

Title: “The Silver Kiss”

Author: Annette Curtis Klause

Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell Books for Young Readers-(Random House

Publishing date: 1990

Blurb: Zoe is wary when, in the dead of night, the beautiful but frightening Simon comes to her house. Simon seems to understand the pain of loneliness and death and Zoe’s brooding thoughts about her dying mother.

Simon is one of the undead, a vampire, seeking revenge for the gruesome death of his mother three hundred years ago. Does Simon dare ask Zoe to help free him from this lifeless chase and its intolerable solitude?

Star Rating:3stars-1[1]

Review

When I first saw this book, I snapped it off the shelf in excitement. Later, it occurred to me that I may not want to read it again. What if it wasn’t as good as the first time, many, many moons ago? What if all the sexiness and darkness wasn’t there? What if age ruined it for me? But since I had already decided to review it for today, and I was curious how I would respond through a second reading and as an adult, I dove in.

To the book’s credit, it is very poetic. Klause’s writing has its own pleasing  rhythm. At times, I simply sat back and enjoyed how the words flowed around me. The problem? These days, you don’t see a lot of that. At least, not in the books I tend toward. I first love character, then plot, then setting, THEN melodious writing. I get caught up in the story, not so much in the beauty of how things are described, not that I can’t appreciate a well written landscape.

The story was very much a second thought in this novel. Things were not described or explained, some of the grammar and wording was awkward, and the overall relationship between the two characters was non-existent. Also, as a pet peeve, I get that teenagers are dramatic and angst-y, but that doesn’t mean every thought in their head has to come across as selfish and immature. Teenagers are people, too, with many layers. So don’t stereotype them.

This was probably one of the first YA vampire novels to come out, I would imagine, as the “Twilight” era had yet to begin. With that thought in mind, there is a chasm between what Klause was trying to accomplish and what paranormal novels today are trying to accomplish. It was nice to step out of our vampire/werewolf/[insert creature here], love triangle, everything-ends-happily story and into Klause’s .

Still, there were several scenes that still came across as pretty, darn sexy. More so in what wasn’t written, than what was, which is the best kind. And the simple nature of the story made it an easy and enjoyable.

I would recommend this to middle grade girls just getting into reading, or anyone interested in, dare I say it, a more realistic kind of vampire novel.

Favorite Quote: Her throat throbbed with life near his mouth, and the gentle, warm smell of her made him giddy. He fought it briefly, but it was no good; she was too near, too inviting. The fangs slid from their sheaths. “Believe this,” he whispered, and kissed her with the sharp, sleek kiss, the silver kiss, so swift and true, and razor sharp, and her warmth  was flowing into him. He could feel it seeping through his body –warmth, sweet warmth. She uttered a small, surprised cry and fought him for a second, but her stroked her and caressed her. I wont hurt you, he thought. Little bird, little dear. I wont hurt you. And she moaned, and slipped her arms around him.

 

Writing Wednesday!

Writing Wednesday

Welcome to Writing Wednesday!

This is the Prologue and first chapter to my latest sci-fi/paranormal YA novel. The one I am hoping, cross my fingers, to publish come January.

Here’s a quick blurb, introducing the story.

My name is May. Welcome to my ordinary life.

Everything about my life was planned out just the way I wanted it. I would graduate from high school in a few short months as valedictorian, after beating out the rough competition of the thirty other kids at my tiny school. I would attend Yale University in the Fall. I would also find some way to save my stagnant relationship with my loyal boyfriend Henry, because he is too good to lose.

Look out, world! My life would finally begin.

Now, tell me this. What do I do when my ordinary life crashes like a mirror on concrete? What do I do, when my friends and I get mistaken for deviant youths, kidnapped, and experimented on by an insane scientist?

Queue crickets? My thoughts exactly.  

I can handle the kidnapping. I can handle the horrific experiments. But no one can blame a girl who cracks when her boyfriend is taken and reprogrammed to hate her and kill her. Slowly. With a lot of pain.

How do I know for sure? Because I was reprogrammed, too. Now, to my dismay I am stuck seeing the future as my subconscious chooses to show it to me.

What do I see? My death. At the hands of the guy I love.

Good-bye, ordinary life.

The Hybrid Chronicles: Time Begins

Prologue

I couldn’t bear any more pain. I could feel my body ripping apart cell by abused cell. I tamped down the scream in my throat because I wanted so badly to remain strong, and maybe I could have if I physical pain was my only foe. I had proved to myself and to them time and time again in the last weeks of my life that this body, my body, could handle unimaginable pain and come out whole on the other side.

But not like this.

Not from him.

She had told him to make it hurt, to make it last. As always, he followed orders too well.

Sweat beaded and dripped down my forehead as my body tried to cope with the tearing agony down my chest like my own personal vivisection. I swallowed, gagged and looked up, knowing that if I looked into his eyes I would break.

Fresh pain drenched my torso and I bit my lip until it gashed open and bled to keep myself from crying out. A warm, calloused palm cupped my cheek while strong fingers caressed my skin. I closed my eyes.

He leaned close, his chest against mine, his mouth near my ear, his breath stroking my neck.

Calculated words rang in my ears, though he had spoken in a whisper. “I won’t stop, not until you scream my name, May.”

And the torture continued.

Eventually, as my tears, my blood, and my devastation streamed to the floor, I did.

Chapter 1-Before Time Mattered

The life of a fly on a horse’s butt, buzzing away the hours soaking in the manure antioxidants, probably had a more eventful life than mine.

The thought depressed me which didn’t make it any less true. I walked through the glass doors that led into the brick building of the tiniest school in America and my blurry distorted face looked back at me. I resisted the urge to stick out my tongue and scrunch my nose to complete the twisted image because people looked at me oddly when I did things like that.

I didn’t actually know if Joseph High School held the record for the tiniest school in America, but with thirty kids on its roll call and fifteen members of faculty, we had paperback yearbooks and never coughed up the extra dough for colored pages. As President of the Student Council I would know. I also ran the drama club and had attempted to initiate the Art club with a petition for individualism over the last year, though I had yet to complete one art project myself.

As I walked through the semi-filled hall of familiar faces I saw one that started bouncing up and down when it located me. Black nail polished and pierced, Katie scurried from side to side dodging students while making her way over to me. After frapping a nearby student on the head as she went, the girl I call my best friend, and also my boyfriend’s sister, clasped a hand over her mouth while sending out a muffled apology to the kid she hit. When the unsuspecting student made their way past her rubbing the spot, I saw Katie snicker and rush toward me in her laced biker boots and plaid purple school girl skirt, complete with safety pins up each side.

She wore her light brown hair up in two high pigtails today and she wore ripped tights that would make our first period teacher roll her eyes over. Katie’s style made her a novelty at this school. Also, she had a stellar attitude and spitfire temper that landed her in detention more often than not.

“May! My gosh, did you see me hit Kirk in the head?” She threw back her head and laughed. “He wants me so bad.”

I smiled while I pulled my backpack to the front and unzipped it, attempting to locate my phone. “Have you even ever talked to Kirk?”

Wincing in pain as my dark hair fell over my shoulder and slithered into my zipper as I closed the pocket, I swore that I would cut it in the coming summer. Nobody liked long hair anymore, anyway. Everyone wanted bobs and A-lines and sleek, teased, bumped, flipped, colored do’s. I briefly thought of myself as a highlighted blonde and cringed.

I grabbed a barrette and threw the dark mass up into a ponytail, knowing it still fell past my shoulder blades. Once secured, I dropped my hand and the fine strands immediately started to sag and slip from the clip.

Glaring over at Katie’s tight, high ponytail, I wondered if I could pull off her style. I would do it in a heartbeat. Her flared hips and petite body made her look like a pixie, hopping around through life. My legs looked better in simple jeans and flats and I had an addiction to plain, long sleeved shirts. In a word. Boring.

Giving up on my saggy pony, I pulled out the barrette and threw my bag back over one shoulder.

“Come on, May. He’s new. Give me time.” Katie wiggled her eyebrows.

“He’s attended here, like, three years,” I said, but she moved on with a wave of her hand.

“Have you seen my brother? Dad was looking for him this morning because he wanted to get out of town to hike a bit this weekend.”

We only had a few minutes to get to first period and though Katie didn’t care when she showed up, my record needed to stay clean on every tiny detail so that I knew, beyond any doubt, my acceptance to Yale stuck. Even holding presidency, and heading clubs, and valedictorian of my year and keeper of, not one, but three summer internships, plus yearlong volunteer work, going to the tiniest school, or thereabouts, still threw my rank into the meh category for an IV league school.

I would not allow perpetual tardiness in the last quarter of my senior year to affect any opportunity for me concerning Yale.

“I haven’t talked to him this morning.”

Katie sent me a disbelieving look.

“I haven’t!” I threw my hands up. “Why does everyone think I keep track of Henry all the time?”

She put a finger to her chin and started tapping while looking up at the ceiling. “I don’t know, maybe because you’ve dated each other since first grade. He has spent just as much time with you as he has me in his life and I’m his twin sister.”

“Oh, please. As if you two don’t ditch me every other weekend to hang out. You’re the only siblings I know who actually like each other.”

Henry had better grades, a mellower attitude and a far less wide rebellious streak, but they would die or kill for one another. Not a single boy in school had ever bullied or made Katie feel insecure after an incident in elementary when Jesse Sims had made her cry. Henry had shocked their father and Katie when he went after the other boy with fists, screaming that if he ever made Katie cry again Henry would come after him. Katie might have the temper, but Henry’s protective streak ran deep.

We made it to class as the tardy bell rang and I breathed easier. I didn’t really care about tardiness. In fact, lateness and grades and Best Student Ever awards irritated the heck out of me. They came too easily to me. That was why I needed Yale. I needed the challenge and the bright, shiny newness of it all. I needed harder classes and a more demanding workload and higher expectations for my mind.

Katie sat in front of me in our first class. She turned around with a huge smile on her face while the class was settling in. “So everything is set for next weekend.” Excitement colored her voice and I felt the first stirrings of it.

“Our last Spring Break together. I guess we should make it count.” I raised an eyebrow at her.

“Jimmy has the campsite all taken care of. He said no one ever goes there, like, ever. It’s some minuscule place in Idaho. Most of the group will come up on Monday, but he said if you want, the five of us can head up early. Saturday, maybe? That way we get the site set up and we can party hard all weekend.”

“What did Henry say?” My boyfriend wasn’t much of a drinker or partier. He preferred hiking, jogging, and boxing, anything active.

“He said that if you were fine with it, he was.”

Of course he said that. Leave the decision up to me, so when it all goes to crap it’s not his fault and he can blame me later. Course, Henry’s blame resembled a reprimanding pat on the head. He came off about as stern as a bunny.

I looked at Katie’s excited expression and laughed. “Fine. We can go up next Saturday morning.”

By lunch that day, three people had mentioned the camping trip and I wondered how many Katie had invited to come up to celebrate with us.

When I walked into the cafeteria and headed over to our regular table, I saw more than the normal five or six of us that sat together. Katie sat with Jimmy, and Henry sat next to them, looking irritated at the look Jimmy kept sending his sister. Anyone who passed the siblings on the street would guess their relationship. They both had tanned skin and green eyes, with light hair that looked softer than it felt. Katie was petite and slim, while Henry was honed. He’d built his agile body for movement of all kind and he played every sport the school provided. Right now it was baseball. He played it off by wearing old band shirts and sneakers and did his best to draw attention away from himself, but it didn’t stop feminine attention around the school. Most girls hadn’t carried a torch for him past the first few years we dated, but there was still the random few flirtatious girls that tried to sway him. Not that he noticed.

I couldn’t remember a time when I didn’t love Henry. There wasn’t anything not to love. His loyalty knew no bounds, and his love for his friends, his sister and his father always came first in his life. He cared about grades, health, country, and me.

He caught my eye and jerked a thumb in the direction of Katie and Jimmy’s flirtation. I rolled my eyes and chuckled as I filtered through people in the lunch line and those trying to make it to their own seats.

When I sat down next to him, he put his arm around me in a side hug that felt comfortable and smelled like Henry. His cologne always reminded me of a forest. We lived amidst the valley of one and he always smelled like he had just come in from the outdoors even when he hadn’t.

I sank into his embrace and snagged some of his fries.

He leaned in close and whispered in my ear, “When can I deck Jimmy?”

“When you stop being best friends, I guess.”

Henry snorted. He tried to catch my eye but I turned to look at the rest of the room. Everyone continued talking around me and the lunch room echoed every conversation. It’d always interested me how everything could feel so chaotic, but with a little focus, words and phrases and intentions became clear. I grabbed a phrase here and there, not really paying attention to anything in particular because I had heard everything before a hundred times.

“I’m surprised you decided to head up early to the campsite.” The sharp voice from above me made me look up into the brown eyes of someone I had once considered a best friend. Tessa was gorgeous; at least that’s what all the guys said in the school. Her not quite orange tan and streaks of honeyed blonde tresses fooled many a teenage boy. Gym time was all Tessa cared about and it showed. She had always told me that having a rocking body was one of the best weapons a girl could have, and she used it as such.

“Why not? We might as well spend the weekend reminiscing or whatever,” I responded. Senior year had proved tough on our friendship. I had grown more determined to find more out of life, while Tessa, content to while away her time here in Oregon, wanted to find a semi-rich man to buy her semi-rich things and have semi-obedient kids who would grow up to do the same thing she did. In our small town she had some power and the respect brought on by parents and grandparents and so on.

We still played friendship as children played house, and I don’t think either one of us knew why. More often than not the cattiness ended up causing more trouble than our pseudo friendship was worth.

“I didn’t think you liked having fun anymore, May?” She let out a little laugh, letting the group know that, of course, she joked.

Brat.

Katie chimed in before I could defend myself with an equally scathing remark. “Sorry, Tessa, spreading your legs for willing victims isn’t the definition of fun. At least not to anyone but you.” She said it with a sneering smile that she saved specifically for Tessa.

“Bite me, half pint,” Tessa growled.

“And contract something? Not on my life.”

The two continued exchanging insults, but Henry grabbed my attention. “I thought we could go out this weekend for dinner, if you want. We can talk and relax.”

“I thought your dad wanted to head out of town with you?”

Henry shook his head. “I have to pull a shift on Sunday. So if you’re game…”

I nodded. Sure, I was game. As I was every other weekend.

 

 

I hope you enjoyed the first chapter! Seasoned writers? Any advice on the writing, et cetera?

Now a question! What are you working on?? Throw a link down in the comments and I will be sure to check  it out and let you know what I think.

See ya tomorrow, blog-world.

 

A New Look

Hey All,

It took me the week to decide how I wanted to revamp the blog, but I think I have finally found a few features that will be fun to do!

As of next week I will be starting “Writing Wednesday” which will feature some of my own work every week. This is a big thing for me because, though I have beta readers, I have never posted my work for any and all to see. However, if I plan to publish on Amazon come January I need to get into the groove of it. As of now, this feature will be a running novel, posted chapter by chapter, BUT I haven’t made the ultimate decision on whether it will be a cohesive writing project or weekly short stories. Writer friends? Any advice on how to post work?

Writing Wednesday

Next, we have Thursday Thrifts. I was at a used book store this week and I saw all these amazing books, some old, some new, and all cheap. And I thought, I wouldn’t mind reviewing these. So on Thursdays, I will be reviewing all the thrift books I have bought over the month. I am pretty excited about this one, guys. Just because it’s not Twilight or Harry Potter (P.S. I ADORE HP) and it may have fallen into obscurity, does not mean that it isn’t a great book.

Thursday Thrifts.jpg

Lastly, starting next Friday I am going to being doing Fantasy Friday, which is a day solely dedicated to Fantasy of all kinds. I will post reviews, pictures and news about books and movies alike that focus on Fantasy. Fantasy isn’t really my forte, but it is an amazing genre and one I am looking forward to delving into, so we will see what happens with it.

Fantasy Friday

ALSO, during the month I am planning to review a recommended novel. This can be ANY novel, not just a well known author. Did you just publish? Did a friend just publish? Are you new to the writing scene? Want to get a mention? All you have to do is comment with the the book title, author and a link to said book. The book chosen from the comments will be random so the reviews will cover a wide range of genres. (Side Note- the reviews will be HONEST.) This feature won’t be every week, but at least once or twice a month. I am so excited to read what other bloggers have published and see what is recommended.

Contest Review

I am looking forward to the coming months to try out these new features.

Seasoned bloggers, if you have any advice and suggestions, comment and let me know!