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Jennifer M. (Kaydence) - Reviews

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The Awakening
The Awakening
Author: Kate Chopin
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 141
Review Date: 3/7/2010


I wouldn't have read this book without needing to for my class, but I wasn't completely disappointed. As a book that is influential in the women's movement of the early 1900s, it's not the worst. I really like the short stories by Kate Chopin, but the novel just doesn't seem to go anywhere. The awakening that the main character goes through is not as entertaining as it could have been. Also, it was very controversial during the time that it was written because of the affair that the main character has, but for today's standards it's not as shocking and therefore not as interesting.


Bad Behavior: Stories
Bad Behavior: Stories
Author: Mary Gaitskill
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 9/12/2012
Helpful Score: 1


After reading a short story by Mary Gaitskill in school, I decided to give a novel a try. I was disappointed, sorta. It was exactly like what I read for school, which I enjoyed, however, every story was exactly like that. Here is the rundown:

Daisy's Valentine: This story is about a guy named Joey who works in a used book store typing up the inventory of books. His co-worker, Daisy, is the object of his affection. However, both Joey and Daisy are both in relationships. Joey is a drug addict that only eats Jelly beans, and Daisy consistently flits from guy to guy because she needs the drama. The relationship between the two of them is not fulfilling and leaves them both confused.

A Romantic Weekend: This is about a woman that falls in love with a man that she thinks will be the person of her dreams. He is married and they are planning on spending the weekend together. She has this notion of being his sex slave because she once enjoyed being beaten during sex when she was in college. He can't wait to beat her and torture her. However, as they meet, they decide they can't really stand each other. The weekend is terrible and neither party gets what they want or expected from the other.

Something Nice: A man goes to a whore house and picks out his prostitute. They lay down and talk for most of the allotted time. He finds that he is strangely attracted to her and continues to go back to visit her every night that his wife is away. He then plans to meet her outside of work, but she stands him up.

An Affair, Edited: A man sees an old girlfriend on the street and begins to remember the relationship that he had with her. He remembers that they didn't love each other and he beat her during sex.

Connection: A woman, Susan, goes home to New York for a visit. While she is walking, she thinks that she sees her old friend Leisha on the street. This sighting triggers the memories of her relationship with her friend. She replays how they met and became friends, the dramas that went through the friendship, and then the final fight that drove them apart.

Trying to Be: A woman becomes a prostitute while she is not getting enough money from her read job. She has a client that seems to fall for her. He comes to her a lot and offers her money. She begins to see him outside of work. He gives her money there also, which she feels a little guilty for. As their affair continues, they learn more about each other. She doesn't like his views on love, passion, and marriage, and their relationship falls flat. The affair ends, but neither is sad about the separation.

Secretary: If you have ever seen the movie Secretary, then you know the plot of this story. A girl gets a job. She begins making mistakes and her boss spanks her. Unlike the movie, it is unclear if she enjoys the spankings or not. She stops going to work and her boss gives her a lot of money, probably to keep her for saying anything about it as he seeks to further his career in the political area.

Other Factors: Connie runs into a man who tried to seduce her. They have a brief conversation and it brings up memories (see a pattern here?). The man invites her to a party at his house in which two of their old friends would be at. This distresses her and she goes home to her lover upset. She recalls the relationship that she had with the set of friends and how much she tried to impress them. Even after all of this time, she still feels like she needs to be good enough for them. After much deliberation, she goes to the party. It is anticlimactic and neither Connie or the friends seem to care about each other.

Heaven: This is a story about a family. The original sisters are all married, but unhappy. One of them can not control their daughter, so she is sent to live with the other sister. The girl is not happy there either and rebels and runs away. No one chases her. The other children have similar issues. The wild child female that everyone loves gets married to a man that beats her and ends up going back home. The other daughter marries a man and becomes successful, but is unhappy and divorces him. One son went to school, but dropped out and the other son is killed in an automobile accident.

Ok, so that was a basic summary of each story. I felt like she was so repetitive. It seemed like every story had a lot of drug use with no point at all. She also had a lot of the running into someone from the past and then thinking about how terrible life is. Finally, all of the women don't seem to enjoy sex unless they are being beaten during it. I know that she is known for the realistic portrayal of the bad side of life, but honestly, I don't know that many women that only enjoy sex while being hurt. I'm just not impressed by this novel. I think that it would be better to read one or two stories like this, but every single one was the same thing over and over. Why bother putting yourself reading the whole book? Why not just search her up through google and read a story or two? Then you will get the Gaitskill experience without feeling bored by the second or third story.

2/5 stars


Bare It All (Love Undercover, Bk 2)
Bare It All (Love Undercover, Bk 2)
Author: Lori Foster
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 77
Review Date: 6/23/2014


Summary:
Alice took down a brutal human trafficker and now is terrified of becoming a victim. Because of this she survives off her instincts and hiding from her past. Detective Reese has other plans for Alice. He wants to figure her out and learn more about her. He's determined to get to the bottom of all her secrets. Unfortunately, the two of them get in a little deeper than either one of them expected. It seems things get a little hot and heavy when corruption and possibly death is on the line.

My thoughts:
Lori Foster has a style that is all her own and I've been a fan for a very long time. She's spicy, mysterious, and funny. I've never been bored reading one of her stories. The characters are always described enough that they have distinct personalities, the romance is always intriguing enough to make me want them to end up together, and the mysteries usually keep me guessing and rooting for the main characters. This is a classic Foster and fans like me are not going to be disappointed.


Barn Boot Blues
Barn Boot Blues
Author: Catherine Friend
Book Type: School & Library Binding
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 6/23/2014


Summary:
Taylor's mother may have lost her mind. After growing up in the city, her parents just decide to purchase a small farm and move to the country. Taylor's mother wants to be a farmer even though Taylor and her father are not fully on board with the idea. But, now they are in the country, and life must go on. Taylor is expected to help out along the farm, so she begins to learn how to do that. To make matters worse, she has to start at a new school smelling like a farm (poop stench included).

My thoughts:
While this is a cute story, I only kind of liked it. There really wasn't anything that really made this book special to me. It was a quick read. Taylor is a good character. She is developed wonderfully with both good and bad characteristics. She is over the top selfish at the beginning, but she does begin to learn her lesson. Overall, the highlight of this book is the development of the farm. The description and building of the farm is very well described. There are some ups and downs just like starting a small farm would be. The whole family definitely learns together. I'd say this is targeted towards the right age group. I may give it to a third grader that has a good attention span and reading level, whereas seventh grade may be a little old for the book. It definitely fits more with girls than with boys. They will appreciate the "Barn Boot Blues."


Beastly (Beastly, Bk 1)
Beastly (Beastly, Bk 1)
Author: Alex Flinn
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 72
Review Date: 3/7/2010


I was impressed with the writing style of this book. I had a few special education students that just loved reading this book. I don't usually read redone fairytale type books, but since my students were enjoying it, i gave it a try. I liked how it was separated by the chat sessions that were a support group type situation. Chat room or IM stories have ingrained themselves into my student's favorites, and I have found them interesting to read. It's very quick to get through and the story is well developed. I really found that I wanted the beast to be alright because he was so mistreated throughout the story. It's extremely predictable, but that's the point, right?! Regardless, it's a good read for a younger child that brings a different light to the Beauty and the Beast fairytale.


Beauty Queens
Beauty Queens
Author: Libba Bray
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 30
Review Date: 9/12/2012
Helpful Score: 1


I have to start off this review by stating that I love Libba Bray. This makes me slightly biased when I review and read her books. I was immediately drawn into Beauty Queens. I laughed out loud at some of the rather ridiculous things that popped up in the beginning of this book. Honestly, what could be worse for a beauty queen then a tray getting lodged in her head? Unfortunately as I kept reading, I still kept finding myself laughing at the ridiculous things and not falling in love with any characters. In most cases, I find myself transfixed with a character and that is what keeps me wanting more in the story. I'm an action person, so the action/mystery part of this story was great, but the characters weren't good enough to draw me in. This is not Bray's best work. It is still worth reading for a laugh though. My favorite parts are the absurd things that pop up and are intermixed throughout the story. The price of beauty is pain apparently, and they do everything to show that aspect up. When they find out that bad things are happening, I find it completely hilarious that the most dangerous weapon is hair remover. That's such a great play on pain and beauty.

Anyways, this wasn't horrible, but it wasn't the greatness that I expect from Libba Bray. I have handed it off to one of my high school students who has told me that she loves the little biography pages slipped in between chapters. Perhaps, it is carefree enough that it will tie well with Meg Cabot's Airhead series, instead of trying to meet up with my Lord of the Flies expectations.


Beauty's Daughter: The Story of Hermione and Helen of Troy
Beauty's Daughter: The Story of Hermione and Helen of Troy
Author: Carolyn Meyer
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 6/23/2014


Summary:
Hermione is the daughter of King Menalaus and Queen Helen (Helen of Troy). When Helen falls in love with Prince Paris, she runs off leaving her daughter but taking her son, Pleisthenes. When Sparta goes to retrieve Helen, Hermione hides away on a ship to travel with the soldiers. She is there to witness the beginning of the Trojan war. During the war, she lives in the camps and learns to care for those around her. She also grows up into a great beauty, which works against her after the war. Instead of returning home after the war to grow up as a princess, she is married off to Pyrrhus, a warrior. He is a horrible man and she lives through more miseries than she can account for.

My thoughts:
I enjoy Carolyn Meyer's novels. I read through all of her Tudor novels (Young Royals series) and enjoy her style. She blends aspects of known story with her thoughts seamlessly and that intrigues me. Because of the way she writes, I almost feel like I am learning more about the actual history or myth. In this novel, the gods are very much a part of the novel. They are key characters that mess with battles and cause chaos, but also favor those that praise them. They are unpredictable and add an element of magic to the tale. Hermione is a strong character. She learns to deal with love, death, and betrayal as she grows up. Since this is written as an autobiography, we really get to learn about Hermione as she grows up. She is a very different woman at the end of the novel than she is when her mother runs off. While I would recommend this for high school (especially 9th grade when they read "The Odyssey"), I will warn that it is including prostitution, murder, and child marriage. Because of the time period that it is focused upon, and the obvious theme of war, teachers and parents should pay attention to what they think would be best for the reader. I wouldn't feel comfortable giving this to someone younger than 13/14.


Before My Eyes
Before My Eyes
Author: Caroline Bock
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 6/23/2014


Summary:
Each character narrates their own story. Claire's mother has had a stroke. This has left her disabled and in a rehab facility. Because of this, Claire has had to grow up fast and take on more responsibility at home. Not only is she cooking and cleaning, but she is also completely in charge of raising her six year old sister. As money is starting to run out, all Claire wants to do is have some one else care about her for a change. Max is the son of a senator who was suckered into working at the Snack Shack for the summer. His father thought it would be good for him and the family image when it came to election time. All Max wants to do is escape and do something fun with his friends. He hates that he has to always be a certain way for his father's political career. Finally, Barkley is another employee at the Snack Shack. He's much different than the other people that work there. He keeps to himself and seems to behave awkwardly. This may be the summer that he just gives in to those voices in his head. The three seem to be living fairly separate lives until they cross at a political rally where Barkley has brought a gun. What will happen on that faithful Labor day?

My thoughts:
This was much better than I had anticipated. I usually dislike when a story is told from too many different character viewpoints. In my opinion, there ends up being holes that are annoying. Anyways, I was happy that this was done well. Each character is fully developed and definitely has their own issues. There is a huge build up to the climax and I was never disappointed. There was a twist that I didn't see coming, which actually shocked me. Also, the ending is just fantastic. I'm happy that I read this and hope that it reaches many more.


Beginner's Luck (Hallie Palmer, Bk 1)
Beginner's Luck (Hallie Palmer, Bk 1)
Author: Laura Pedersen
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 25
Review Date: 3/7/2010


Positives:

* This book moves really fast even though it's a bit long.
* The family that she moves in with is hilarious. It reminds me of the stories about hippies.
* She really grows up and you see that there is always a second chance.

Negatives:

* She never really understands her parents point of view. It's like they don't matter.
* The decisions are laid out for her.
* It's unknown if she really learns what she is supposed to, or if it's just things that she finds interesting. If we didn't have to learn everything then I would have never learned any math.


The Beginning of Everything
The Beginning of Everything
Author: Robyn Schneider
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.8/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 6/23/2014


Summary:
Ezra Faulkner is the captain of the tennis team. He seems to have it all. He is given a brand new car, is popular, and good looking. Unfortunately, he is in a car crash that ends his tennis career and forces him to figure out what to do now. He switches gears and decides to try out debate. Through this switch, he finds out that he has more intellect than he previously acknowledged and some of the nerdy crowd are more than he expected. He even meets a new girl to both challenge and intrigue him. Overcoming tragedy is just one step in Ezra's overall path; his life is really just beginning to take shape.

My thoughts:
Schneider has done an amazing job with the writing! Ezra is an extremely relatable character, even if you were not popular in high school. He is down to earth, honest, and very positive (in most cases). The reader watches as Ezra completely redefines every part of his life, even with some grief over his pre-accident self. The struggle he goes through is engaging, but he grows to be a much stronger person than what he originally was. Schneider also throws in some twists that I didn't see coming. Much like the roller coaster, there are some turns that you clearly see coming, but those that you are also blind to. I really felt surprised with some things. It was nice to see that a YA novel could still surprise me in a coming of age type story. I highly recommend everyone taking a few hours to meet and interact with Ezra.


Being Sloane Jacobs
Being Sloane Jacobs
Author: Lauren Morrill
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 6/23/2014


Summary:
Two Sloane's have recently had a hard time in their skating careers and have been sent to a camp in Canada. Sloane Emily has bombed her figure skating junior championship routine and everyone seems disappointed in her. Sloane Devon is a little too aggressive in the hockey rink and is in trouble because of that. When the two of them meet, they hatch a plan to switch places. Lucky for them that they have the same name and for some reason look alike. Sloane Emily goes back to play hockey and Sloane Devon goes back to figure skate. Both of them are in for more than they imagined.

My thoughts:
This is a very sweet story. Both characters learn a lot and grow in confidence in their own skills and learn to accept who they are as people as well. Sloane Emily grows inner confidence and the ability to stand up for herself. Sloane Devon learns to trust others instead of blocking herself off from those around her. Of course, there is a little romance mixed in and both girls develop strong friendships. Unfortunately, I just didn't find this believable. In most "switch places" novels, the two are related so there is a particular reason that they can easily switch places. This on the other hand is a little harder to believe. I just don't buy that no one would notice two strangers switching places. It's a little too unlikely. However, the over story is good and fun to read.


Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (Between, Bk 1)
Review Date: 6/23/2014
Helpful Score: 1


Summary:
Violet and Luke both live in a neglected house in a sleepy little town. Their parents are out traveling and wasting money, while the twins are left to take care of themselves. This is not a huge deal because nothing happens in their little town, that is until River West comes to town. River rents the guesthouse behind Violet and Luke's place. After his appearance, weird things start to happen. Children disappear and murders are reported. Even though Violet knows River is a liar, she still seems to be falling in love with him. Will she be able to survive this romance, or is River the Devil in disguise?

My thoughts:
I didn't like this book. Most of it is because I really disliked Tucholke's writing style. She had a lot of very short, choppy sentences that made me feel like I was hyperventilating taking breaths at each period. I started to just meld sentences together on my own, but I honestly can't believe that a copy editor out there didn't comment about that. Gosh it was annoying! That along with little to no character development a romance that doesn't quite make sense and a very slow start turned me off. The saving grace of the story is the horror/gore. There are some scary scenes. They are described, sometimes purely as "dark, dark, dark," but probably the best part of the book. I like horror so the few thrills that were given was the only reason I bumped this up to two stars. I can see why people have enjoyed it for the premise, but the writing is difficult for me to deal with. Honestly, the cover of this is beautiful and probably the reason it will be successful.


Bird
Bird
Author: Crystal Chan
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 6/23/2014


Summary:
Jewel's brother died on the day she was born. Because of this, she does not understand the feelings that are mixed up within her very superstitious Jamaican home. Both her grandfather and father believe in duppies, harmful spirits that are set to hurt the good people around them. Because grandpa gave Jewel's brother the nickname Bird and said one day Bird would fly, he believes that he summoned one of those dupies and caused Bird to jump off a cliff. This has caused grandpa to stop talking, completely. Jewel has grown up in a house of silence, but at 12 years old, she is trying to find a way to deal with the grief that so heavily surrounds her. She meets John, a boy in town. The two of them become friends and explore geology and space together. Unfortunately, the family does not trust John (which happens to be Bird's real name). They feel that John is another dupie that wants to hurt the family. How will Jewel be able to heal?

My thoughts:
While this is beautifully written, I found it to be difficult to read. There is a feeling of hopelessness that permeates through the majority of the story. The grief based upon the household beliefs is fierce. It's definitely hard to sit back and read through without wanting to interfere on Jewel's behalf. On the other hand, there are not a lot of extremely well written books on grief and dealing with grief. This book does an excellent job of that. Jewel never knew her brother, but the way that she is forced into this mourning lifestyle is a definite reminder to live for those that are still alive, but dealing with the grief that stays with a family is also important.


Bird With the Heart of a Mountain
Bird With the Heart of a Mountain
Author: Barbara Mariconda
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 6/23/2014


Summary:
Drina is half gypsy and half Spanish. She doesn't know exactly where she belongs, and when a tragedy strikes she is even more unsure of her standings. She ends up meeting her father's family and begins to dig up what her heritage is.

My thoughts:
While I was drawn to this book based off of Drina's need to dance, and her training in that as she meets her father's family, I felt like it was more of a cultural look at what was happening within the Spanish Civil War and the places that Drina goes. I think that the culture that Drina learns is definitely the highlight of this book. The reader is sent back in time to this era of unrest. Each setting is thoroughly described and the tensions that are surrounding that area come into focus. The rules of flamenco are also discussed as part of Drina's training, but I didn't feel like they overshadowed the general tension around the whole book. Then of course, Drina is growing up and figuring out who she is. There just isn't a huge amount of action, so be aware of a very history oriented fiction without a lot of independent/unexpected plot elements.


The Birdcatcher
The Birdcatcher
Author: Kristina Dunker, Katja Bell (Translator)
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 5/15/2013


Summary:
Nell and her friend Ida go on a camping trip together in a rather remote location with a lot of alcohol. It quickly becomes apparent that they have a stalker. The stalker is more than likely Ida's ex-boyfriend that isn't taking the break-up very well. Honestly, I think that I can't tell you anymore without it being a complete spoiler.

My thoughts:
This story is familiar. I've watched and read too many stories with this same plot line, but for some reason I keep going back. Even though I knew exactly what was going to happen, I still enjoyed a great deal of this story. It moves extremely quickly and Nell is a particularly strong character. Unfortunately, all of the other characters are fairly cliche or have no depth at all. If this was a movie script, perhaps the stock characters would be more understandable, but I'd like to have an emotional connection within a book. Ida is not that interesting and she is confusing. I'm not sure if this is a lost in translation thing, or if Ida is just a messy character. I found myself not liking her because I couldn't get into her motivation or explanation of anything. There is also an animal scene within the story that irritated me. That's a personal bias though.


Blackout
Blackout
Author: Robison Wells
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 6/23/2014


Another reviewer stated that this would be perfect for a hardcore dystopian fan that enjoyed superheroes. Well, I am that fan and this was almost perfect for me.

Summary:
Aubrey is at prom and no one seems to be asking her to dance. No one even seems to notice that she is there. When the prom is stormed by the military and all of the teens are taken, except Aubrey because she's invisible. Jack also avoids being captured by the military because he didn't actually attend the dance. He just was waiting until it ended to be on clean-up duty. Now Jack and Aubrey must ban together in order to survive and hide from the military. Meanwhile, Laura and Alec are attacking. The two of them are teen terrorists destroying all that they can. But why? How does this relate to the teen kidnapping and special abilities that keep popping up?

My thoughts:
As I mentioned, this fell in my wheelhouse of novels. Dystopians are my favorite by far and I do like the idea of special abilities floating around. As many have said, this has an X-Men feel. The teens are experimented on to find out if they have these abilities and then they are "recruited" to help fight the government's cause. By no means are they treated with respect and most of them don't even know there is something special about them. It fits with the X-Men hiding from the government and attempting to use special powers for good themes. Aubrey has to hide or be used. Jack is with her all the way through. While Laura and Alec are interesting characters, I'm not sure why they are doing what they are doing. The worst part about this book is the lack of character development and overall world building. It's like these aspects are skimmed. You get enough world building to know basic setting information, but there needs to be more. Mostly a type of history to connect things along with a description that makes me feel like I am right there with the characters. While Jack and Aubrey are characters you get to know the most, they are still rather shallow. Laura and Alec are very hard to know. I don't know their motivations at all. I think part of this is because the chapters are relatively short and switch points of view a lot. I just need to feel more attached to the characters and in order to do that, I need to get inside their heads. On the other hand, this book keeps you moving. There is a lot of action. Because the shorter chapters, you really haul it through the book. There are very few times that I put the book down, and I did want to know what was going to happen next. The events in the plot are the highlight and the adventure just flows easily through the pages. That is by far the best part of the novel. I can also see it as a movie because of how action driven it is.


The Blessed (Blessed, Bk 1)
The Blessed (Blessed, Bk 1)
Author: Tonya Hurley
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 5/9/2013


Summary:
Three girls end up in the hospital for acts they have committed against themselves. Agnes attempted suicide, Cece drowned in a pothole, and Lucy is a celebrity who overdosed. Sebastian is a rather mysterious character that attempts to help these three ladies out while they are in the emergency room. During several parts with Sebastian, I had to Wikipedia to figure out what was going on, but I believe he gives each of the girls their personal destinies.

My thoughts:
I wish I had some background of Catholicism before reading this book. It would have saved me a good amount of time. There is a great deal of history about the Roman Catholic religion woven through the story. Also, if you have any knowledge of saints, it would be helpful.

The story is told from multiple points of view. It takes a little while to get into the characters this way because it jumps around a lot. I didn't feel like the characters were well developed because of this. That was another let down for me because I love character development so much.

The good part of the switching is that it keeps the book moving. It is extremely fast paced and probably something a teen could read in a day or two. The fact that there is a lot of action, blood, and guts, also helps the story move along. The action and horror was the only reason I put up with using Wikipedia to help me understand specific reverences. I particularly liked that the saints who died martyrs died in realistic ways. It actually made me appreciate aspects of religion in a different way.

I would definitely pick this up again and look forward to finding out more in subsequent books.


Bloggrls, Book One: Nugrl90 (Sadie) (Bloggrls) (Bloggrls)
Bloggrls, Book One: Nugrl90 (Sadie) (Bloggrls) (Bloggrls)
Author: Cheryl Dellasega
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 6/23/2014


Summary:
Sadie's parents are getting a divorce and she's moving away. She has to share a room and begin at a new school. In order to relieve stress and keep in contact with her friends, she begins a blog. In this story, Sadie talks about her new life, how much she misses her dad, and the struggle to make new friends and a new boyfriend.

My thoughts:
I didn't think this was a bad story, but it wasn't exactly what I expected either. I figured that this would relate more to my high school students since it talked about boyfriends, but it really is more towards a younger audience. I would recommend this for 6-7 grade. It is written completely in blog format, which is a little annoying at times. There is a glossary (clicktionary) that allows the uniformed reader a glimpse into the language that is often used. I don't enjoy textspeak (blogspeak), but understand that it fits with the story. Overall, this is a super quick (and relatively short) read with doodles and language most young adults will enjoy. It's not a complicated book and Sadie doesn't evolve until she gets over her moodiness, but there is decent character development as her blog becomes almost like therapy.


Blood of the Revenant
Blood of the Revenant
Author: N.R. Allen
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 9/12/2012


This summary/review includes SPOILERS. Read at your own risk.

Summary: Gabriel is the fighter. His family is made up of 5 revenants. Each revenant is responsible for having one talent. Whenever Gabriel wins a fight, his family is rewarded. The problem is, Gabriel does not like fighting. He also likes the water and no other revenant does. Things in the village begin to change. Gabriel ends up stuck in the middle of two Olders, revenants who have gone into Eden and gotten their darkness, in a fight to save/destroy the machine. I know this sounds confusing, but things unravel throughout the story that don't necessarily make sense. The machine is what runs everything and influences the revenants to do its bidding. I'm not exactly certain why or how this happens. This ends up being very vampire related and Gabriel ends up being the only non-vampire creature. His destiny is to overcome the revenants and destroy the machine. You can read it to figure out if that happens or not.

My thoughts: I felt like the entire novel was told to me. I never became a part of the novel. This meant that I never cared about the characters. Several main characters go through huge changes in short amounts of time and there are several characters that are killed. I felt nothing. I never once cared about any of the characters, including Gabriel. There were a ton of spelling and grammar errors throughout the novel. This can be frustrating. There were several times that I found sentences that didn't make sense because a word was added in or left out. These types of things take me out of the story and make it very hard for me to get back in. I really think that the initial plot line or storyboard of this was good, but the execution needs work. I'd prefer the author to spend some more time providing the audience with clear visions. Give me vivid details of the surroundings and pull me into the emotions of Gabriel. Stop telling me, show me!


Blur (Blur Trilogy)
Blur (Blur Trilogy)
Author: Steven James
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 6/23/2014


Summary:
In a small town where nothing happens, the town is shocked to find the body of Emily Jackson floating in Lake Algonquin. It is ruled accidental and the town begins to move forward. When Emily appears as a blur/ghost to Daniel, he starts to wonder if there may be more to her death than it appears. As he begins to dig into the mystery surrounding her death, he seems to fall into these hallucinations. While attempting to find the truth, he seems to be losing touch with reality. Will justice be served or will Daniel lose his mind while searching?

My thoughts:
Overall, this is an excellent book. The characters are well described and easily cared for. While Emily is dead, she is a strong presence throughout the book and you learn a lot about her. She is more than just a means to pull the plot along. Daniel is someone you want to push further and protect at the same time. There are definitely times where I wanted to tell him to go look here or there, but others when I wanted him to take a step back so he didn't lose himself in the process. I was surprised that I actually didn't have the ending guessed halfway through the book. It took me a long time to figure out who the bad guy was. This was good because it is so rare that it happens this way. There are some twists that I just didn't see coming. My only issue was that it slowed down sometimes. The chapters are short, so that usually helps make the book fly by, but there were times that I felt the drag of not enough going on and wanted to put the book down for a break.


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