waiting on wednesday (09): darker still

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly event courtesy of Breaking the Spine that showcases much anticipated upcoming releases.

from goodreads:
The Picture of Dorian Gray meets Pride and Prejudice, with a dash of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

New York City, 1882. Seventeen-year-old Natalie Stewart's latest obsession is a painting of the handsome British Lord Denbury. Something in his striking blue eyes calls to her. As his incredibly life-like gaze seems to follow her, Natalie gets the uneasy feeling that details of the painting keep changing...

Jonathan Denbury's soul is trapped in the gilded painting by dark magic while his possessed body commits unspeakable crimes in the city slums. He must lure Natalie into the painting, for only together can they reverse the curse and free his damaged soul.

Although there's not a lot of synopsis here, anything Oscar Wilde and anything vaguely relating to Pride and Prejudice has me on alert. I know they're big comparisons, but I'm curious to see how this one turns out. And I love the color play on the cover with her dress alternating between gold and purple, meshing with the wallpaper and frame. And set in here in New York? Okay, I want to know about these characters already.

review: enclave by ann aguirre

Author: Ann Aguirre
Publication Date: 04/21/2011
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends (Macmillan)
Pages: 259
Source: Library

 In Deuce’s world, people earn the right to a name only if they survive their first fifteen years. By that point, each unnamed ‘brat’ has trained into one of three groups–Breeders, Builders, or Hunters, identifiable by the number of scars they bear on their arms. Deuce has wanted to be a Huntress for as long as she can remember. 
As a Huntress, her purpose is clear—to brave the dangerous tunnels outside the enclave and bring back meat to feed the group while evading ferocious monsters known as Freaks. She’s worked toward this goal her whole life, and nothing’s going to stop her, not even a beautiful, brooding Hunter named Fade. When the mysterious boy becomes her partner, Deuce’s troubles are just beginning.
Down below, deviation from the rules is punished swiftly and harshly, and Fade doesn’t like following orders. At first she thinks he’s crazy, but as death stalks their sanctuary, and it becomes clear the elders don’t always know best, Deuce wonders if Fade might be telling the truth. Her partner confuses her; she’s never known a boy like him before, as prone to touching her gently as using his knives with feral grace.
As Deuce’s perception shifts, so does the balance in the constant battle for survival. The mindless Freaks, once considered a threat only due to their sheer numbers, show signs of cunning and strategy… but the elders refuse to heed any warnings. Despite imminent disaster, the enclave puts their faith in strictures and sacrifice instead. No matter how she tries, Deuce cannot stem the dark tide that carries her far from the only world she’s ever known. 

Girl15. Before the book begins, this is all that Deuce is known as. Before their 15th birthday, brats don't get named in case something fatal happens to them and at 15 they choose their vocation, one of three: Breeders, Builders, or Hunters. Having just turned 15, Deuce is a novice Huntress. Her partner is a quiet outcast Hunter, Fade, and their pairing she feels is a bit of a punishment - that is until she's sent on a mission with him and as a result begins to questions the foundations of the Enclave.

The quote on the front cover suggests Enclave to fans of The Hunger Games series and I'd like to just make a quick comment about that: as a marketing tool it is fabulous, using the wild popularity of Suzanne Collins' reader base as a jumping point. However, I don't necessarily feel that if you like THG that you will necessarily like this book. They are completely different. And although there are a lot of comparisons with Katniss in reviews, Deuce is her own character dealing with her own issues.

The thing I like best about this book is that it's almost a social commentary, and if you haven't already guessed, I love books that touch upon the what ifs of people's actions. There's not much information given in the book about how everything came about, and the bulk of it (which isn't a lot) is in the form of an author's note at the very end. This is speculation based on the information provided, but presumably the Freaks were created as a result of a biological weapon gone wrong. The CDC's attempts at a vaccine were unsuccessful and the only recourse people had was to flee infected areas. I have to say that the use of the word Freaks is an incredibly clever idea on the author's part as it reflects back to the present day people not knowing what they are and uses common parlance to define what they see, and avoids all of the trappings of the word 'zombie' with the reader understanding that Freaks are for all intent and purposes, very much like zombies. The definition is done by the reader, not the characters. I love it.

 As far as Deuce is concerned, people have been living in underground enclaves for as long as anyone can remember and they live there because going Topside is poisonous and full of Freaks, completely inhabitable. Her shock upon eventually going Topside is palpable: her confusion at seeing the sun and not knowing why her skin burns, grass and animals growing and running freely, and especially the lack of comprehension at how people fight amongst themselves given they all have a common enemy. I know that above I commented that Deuce and Katniss aren't necessarily interchangeable, but Deuce is pretty fierce on her own. I like that she investigates and takes in information about her surroundings before making a decision. Deuce doesn't whine or cry - she didn't when she was branded as a Huntress, and she doesn't start even when all she knows about the world is being turned on its head. And I have to say that she and Fade make a pretty awesome team. Fade has a pretty strong personality on his own, but he never forces it on Deuce. He lets her come to her own conclusions and then lets her approach him about whatever questions she has. They are amazing fighters and they work as such a cohesive unit that it was really refreshing not to have any sort of instashipping happen. (Don't get me wrong - there is romance, but it's very, very slight and does not beat you over the head.)

One teeny complaint was that the book ended on a bizarre note, but I can get over that in anticipation for the sequel. The series has been named Razorland and I'm curious to see how that comes to play later on. I'm definitely looking forward to reading Outpost and finding out more about their world and what happens to it.

Note: Because this has been commented upon a few times... the ending is not a cliffhanger. It just sort of stops at a part where I would expect to turn the page for more story. 

in my mailbox (9)

This week I made up for not buying any books and as such I'm going to put myself on a book-buying ban until I purchase A Dance With Dragons in July. You know, unless a big library sale or the like pops up and then I give in completely.

Before I start, I want to thank Simon & Schuster Audio for their amazing contest via Twitter. I somehow won and will be the ridiculously lucky recipient of a year's worth of audio books. I have to tell you, if there's an audiobook of Blood Red Road floating in there I will fall out of my chair with happiness. I'm looking forward to see how it all rolls out!

For Review:
Cinder and Ella, Melissa Lemon

I think I did all sorts of a jig when I found this in the mail. Won as a giveaway from Kellie at ReaWrite and sent from Cedar Fort with a lovely letter. Thank you so much!

Starcrossed: Perigee, Tracey Lee Campbell

I won Starcrossed: Perigee from a giveaway via the lovely Wendy at A Cupcake and a Latte. For The Hairdresser of Harare I was contacted by the author for a review. Given the subject matter I immediately said yes; it's not a YA read, but it's an important read.

World War Z, Max Brooks
Forbidden, Tabitha Suzuma
Evermore, Alyson Noël
The Magicians, Lev Grossman

I've been meaning to read World War Z for ages now, and I borrowed it from a friend awhile back but had to return it before I could get too far. After finishing Enclave last night I'm ready for more. Forbidden is a book I also got through GalleyGrab but didn't have a chance to read it and so now I'm thrilled to have a finished copy on my shelf. I'll read this one soon. Evermore is something I blame Jennifer of little shelf for turning me on to. I didn't realise the series was so long, though, so I might wait a bit before diving into another one. The Magicians! I have it! I'm realllly looking forward to this one. I'm in the queue for The Magician King at NetGalley and I'm crossing my fingers that I'm able to get it!

Blood Promise, Richelle Mead
Spirit Bound, Richelle Mead

Oh, this series. I read it last weekend (this may seem immodest, but I'm a very fast reader which is not always a good thing...) and I loved it and I hated it all at once. Donna, I know we had a bit of a conversation about these books and that your daughter couldn't finish them due to all of the character frustration happening. And, let me tell you - I get it. Now that I've finished them, I really get it. But the last book does help. I wish there could be a companion novel to tie things up more neatly, though.

I'm looking forward to see what's in your mailbox this week!

2011 in books : first half

I've been meaning to do a post like this, but the questions are nabbed from inkcrush. I know I overlapped some books but they're completely justified.

one. favorite book read so far in 2011
This is my favorite fictional work. My favorite overall book of the year is Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.

two. most powerful book
This book is something everyone should read. Full stop.

three. the most brilliantly funny
I have to say, I haven't read many books that year that made me laugh on a consistent basis. Spellbound, however, just had some great points here and there where things were so perfectly phrased that I found myself laughing aloud.

four. best ache-y, heart-breaking, tear-jerker read
 This series kills my heart and makes it smile all at once. I loved the majority of this book, but there was one part after which I thought I might stop reading the series, but, I continued. Eventually.

five. most beautiful story

six. fave rainy day comfort read

seven. best tense, adrenaline-fueled, unputdownable award

eight. the beautiful prose award

nine. most atmospheric and vivid setting

ten. i-so-want-to-go-there award
This is difficult. I'd love to go to the Dauntless enclave, but I'd also like to visit the beaches of California like in Moonglass. Can I cheat? I want to go to them all.

eleven. most original and imaginative

If I could, I would also give this one 'completely amazing premise', but I'm going to try and branch out for another one. Suffice to say, I really loved this book. I need a hard copy.

twelve. best under-appreciated, hidden gem book

thirteen. i-had-no-idea-i-would-love this-so award
I had only read the Wicked Lovely series before this which didn't do too much for me, so I took a risk and it paid off big time. I love this series.

fourteen. most haunting story

fifteen. outside of my comfort zone but gosh how i loved it
Okay, so I have to say that I am not a fan of Twilight and have since been a bit wary of books having to do with vampires. But I read the entire series last weekend after starting this book and I loved it (although I have a love/hate relationship with it) and wish there were more, especially from Dimitri's perspective.

sixteen. series that i'm loving
A Song of Ice and Fire (the Game of Thrones book series) and the Divergent series really are top for me, but to be different, I'm rather looking forward to Crossed, too.

seventeen. most memorable voice award
I loved Saba and her diction and the flow of the prose. It worked so well for me and as a result I fell deeply into the book while reading.

eighteen. completely awesome premise award
As a note: although I really enjoyed the premise of this book, the execution of the story in some parts really didn't work for me. 

nineteen. would make the best movie
Gladiator + the book version of The Road = Blood Red Road.

twenty. want to re-read already

 I do. I still haven't reviewed it. I think I'll reread it later in the year and then put up a review. But I love, love, love this book.

follow friday (7)

This week's question courtesy of Parajunkee's Follow Friday is:

Q: In light of the Summer Solstice. Also known as Midsummer...let's talk about fairies. What is your favorite fairy tale or story that revolves around the fae? 

I wish I had more time to spend with this, but as I'm rushing out the door for work I'm going to say Charles Perrault's  La Belle au bois dormant, better known as Sleeping Beauty. I love the original French version and the English translations as well as the Disney version that's more or less based on Tchaikovsky - but who doesn't love Tchaikovsky? There's another one that is escaping the name of me that I've translated before myself but I forget the name of it. I'll have to think on it! 

As for books and the fae can I say Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey series and the play it was based on, A Midsummer Night's Dream - which I love seeing performed in Central Park on occasion during the summer!

review: legacy by cayla kluver

Author: Cayla Kluver
Publication Date: 06/28/2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 488
Source: e-ARC

 The first boy disappeared on the day of his birth, on a night when the pale yellow moon of the nighttime sky turned red and bathed the heavens in the ghastly color of blood, on the same night the Kingdom of Cokyri abruptly ceased its merciless attack.

Across the land of Hytanica, under the shadow of the crimson moon, infant boys continued to vanish. Not until the blood had faded from the sky did the disappearances stop and the bodies of the murdered infants were found outside the gates of the city, a final word from the greatest enemy Hytanica had ever known. For the next sixteen years, peace reigned, but one mystery remained unsolved. The Cokyrians had abducted forty-nine newborns, but returned only forty-eight bodies. 

Now, as seventeen-year-old Princess Alera of Hytanica is besieged from all sides by suitors vying for the Throne, a teenage Cokyrian boy, Narian, is encountered within the walls of her Kingdom, a boy who will show Alera a world where women serve a purpose and not just a husband. As Narian helps Alera find her voice, she struggles against an arranged marriage that will shatter the life she has scarcely begun to live. And when Narian's shocking past is uncovered, and war with Cokyri looms once more, he must fight to defy a fate ordained at his birth. (goodreads)

I didn't know what to expect of this book coming in. I love a good fantasy, and despite the almost romance novel cover I was intrigued by the possibilities. Legacy tells the story of the Hytanican princess, Alera, who is on the cusp of her 18th birthday. This wouldn't be a big deal except for the fact that in her society a princess who turns 18 must choose her suitor, who will succeed her father and rule as king. Alera's father already has someone in mind - Steldor, son of the Captain of the Guard - and somewhat fiesty Alera takes offense to this and acts out in small ways to keep him at bay. And this might sound like a somewhat pleasant story until we introduce Alera's personal bodyguard of sixteen years, London. London and Alera are rather close, and one day while in the gardens they are met by an unknown woman that ends up being a Cokyrian. When she escapes, panic ensues, suspicion sets in and unchains a series of events that unfold the rest of the story.

One of my favorite things about this book was the richness of the secondary characters. Alera's sister, Miranna, is fun and playful, yet is a grounding force for her sister when she steps out of line or needs to be told the truth from different eyes. The best characters for me were within the king's Elite Guard and comprised of London, Halias (Miranna's personal guard), and Destari: these guys were not only unwaveringly loyal but also knew when to step back and not take things too seriously and had their own distinct personalities and quirks. I wouldn't want to have any of them angry at me - but I would go to dinner with London.

That said, there was more about it that didn't work for me than that did. The biggest thing is the role that women play, or rather, don't play. One of the big differences between Hytanican and Cokyrian societies is that the former is patriarchal and the latter matriarchal. While I don't advocate either gender disparity, as the books are primarily told from the viewpoint of Hytanica what we see is a lot of women relegated to incredibly stereotypical tasks: an education in etiquette, dancing, speech, and event planning. Females do not learn history, politics, or advanced languages. I tried to set this aside again and again but there were passages that brought it up so forcefully that made it difficult, such as this one:
"He also feels, like most men, that a father should not trust to a daughter's judgement on a decision as important as the selection of her husband." (quote is from an uncorrected copy and may change in the finished version.)
Steldor, the man who the king wants Alera to marry, is not a very likable individual. He boasts, struts, and all other manner of verbs that act but do not inspire. Alera is very much opposed to marrying him but ends up not having much of a choice in the matter which was distressing to read as things progressed. I admit he does get better, but in almost a way that's too forced to believe. The other thing that was distracting were the words themselves. The writing was bogged down in descriptive detail that in between whatever the characters may have been saying we got a run-down of what they were wearing, the room they were in, and where that building was in respect to the rest of their realm. I appreciate world-building, and I love to know detail when it's something that enhances what someone is saying or if it hints at things to come but not repeatedly as it ends up being distracting.

While looking into the book, I found that Cayla was 14 when the book was first written. I'm curious to see how her writing has progressed since then and how her editors will treat the second book in the series in comparison to the first as the story is there, it's just the rest that needs polishing. For that reason I'm going to continue the series when the next book, Allegiance, is released. 

This ARC was received from Harlequin Teen via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

waiting on wednesday (08): the night circus

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly event courtesy of Breaking the Spine that showcases much anticipated upcoming releases.

The Night Circus
Author: Erin Morgenstern
Publishing date: 09/13/2011

from goodreads:
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.
Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

I'll admit, I don't like circuses in the traditional sense, but as soon as I saw this cover and read the synopsis I was hooked. A circus that's only open at night called The Circus of Dreams - it was immediate love. I already want to know more about the colors, the cover,  the characters. And the UK version of the cover, while not quite as gorgeous is still beautiful.  The line about prose is also very intriguing for me as I love an author that can work details with words like a loom. This is a release that I am very much looking forward to.

in my mailbox (8)

This is probably the first week in awhile that I haven't bought any books, although I almost did the other day and I certainly will this week. (I just started the Vampire Academy series a day or so ago and I'm already on book 3 and completely addicted. I need the rest of them! And I love Dimitri.) I'm still catching up from books I got a few weeks ago and from holds that have arrived at the library. Here goes!

Galley Grab:
Witchlanders, Lena Coakley
The Unwanteds, Lisa McMann

Witchlanders is a book that Hannah of My Book Journey first turned me on to and I thought that I was going to have to wait until August to read it. Thankfully I don't have to. The Unwanteds is a rare case of a blurb completely selling me - "The Hunger Games meets Harry Potter"? Oh, well played, Kirkus.

Imaginary Girls, Nova Ren Suma
Starcrossed, Josephine Angelini

Galley Grab:
Frost, Wendy Delsol

I've had Stork on my TBR for awhile now, but now that I have a copy of Frost I'll have to definitely read push the first book up so I can read them in order. This is a series I'm looking forward to.

Thank you to Simon & Schuster and Candlewick for the e-ARCs!

follow friday (6)

This week's question courtesy of Parajunkee's Follow Friday is:

Q: Genre Wars! What's your favorite genre and which book in that genre made it your favorite?

Whew - an easy question! I can handle this as one question happens to answer the other. My favorite book is Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, which, of course, falls under the dystopian genre. From the very first time we covered this book in school it was love at first read. It was the best possible introduction to dystopia for me and is a regular re-read. (I also love his other less known - but still brilliant - novel, Island.) Social issues are important to me and the way that this genre is able to tackle them weave a story around their flaws in a way that gets people curious and eager to read will never cease to be a good thing. The resurgence of dystopian popularity really makes my heart happy and is why you'll see me reading a lot of books in the genre. 

I'm also going to toss in a mention of Ray Bradbury's short story take on the original poem There Will Come Soft Rains; when we first read this in English I would go back and read it over and over again when the rest of the class was reading other stories aloud. (Don't worry, I always caught up.) If you haven't read it, it's an insanely quick read but for me it's unforgettable. You can read it here.

What's your favorite dystopian book? And I'm really looking forward to reading the answers to this question!

waiting on wednesday (07): variant

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly event courtesy of Breaking the Spine that showcases much anticipated upcoming releases.

Author: Robison Wells
Publishing date: 10/01/2011

from goodreads:
Benson Fisher thought a scholarship to Maxfield Academy would be the ticket out of his dead-end life.

He was wrong.

Now he’s trapped in a school that’s surrounded by a razor-wire fence. A school where video cameras monitor his every move. Where there are no adults. Where the kids have split into groups in order to survive.

Where breaking the rules equals death.

But when Benson stumbles upon the school’s real secret, he realizes that playing by the rules could spell a fate worse than death, and that escape—his only real hope for survival—may be impossible.

If you haven't already noticed, dystopian is my favorite genre not just for books but for films and, well, anything. And although the synopsis is brief I'm curious as to why there are cameras, what happened to leave the kids like this and what they'll have to do to survive. If anyone's seen Doctor Who, it sort of reminds me of the series one episode "Bad Wolf" although the catchphrase is very X-Files. I love the simple cover with muted blue overtones and the way her red sweater stands out against everything else.

What are you guys waiting on?

review: unwind by neal shusterman

Author: Neal Shusterman
Publication Date: 11/06/2007
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 335
Source: Library 
 The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child "unwound," whereby all of the child's organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn't technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.

"Connor stands there for the longest time, until the motion sensor light goes out. Being alone had not been part of the plan, but he realises it should  have been. From the moment his parents signed those papers, Connor was alone. (10)" 

How I missed this I'm not sure, but when I read the synopsis for Unwind I somehow entirely missed the definition of what it was to be unwound and it was something of a horrific discovery as I read more and more, putting the pieces together. The book, divided into seven parts, begins with a part called "Triplicate" named in reference to the fact that in order to have a child unwound, a parent must sign carbon-copy paperwork - and the subtle reference to carbon being duplicated and split is a clever one - with the white copy of the paper work going to the government, the yellow copy with the child, and the pink stays with the parents. The first heading also refers to the introduction of the three main characters and their stories. First is Connor, a so-called normal child raised in the average family setting with his parents and younger brother except for the fact that Connor has some behavioral issues. Next is Lev whose very religious family has decided that Lev would literally be a tithe for the family to the world, and the Lev we first meet is perfectly fine with this not knowing any other life. Last is Risa, a girl raised in a State Home whose gift of playing the piano was not enough to save her a bed in the orphanage and to clear space will be unwound. 

Connor starts things into motion when he finds three tickets for a vacation. Curious as to why only three, he soon finds his unwind paperwork and decides to make a run for it. The turn of events end up with his meeting Lev and Risa somewhat unwillingly but the three of them share a bond as only Unwind can. I won't say too much about their journey but, like I mentioned earlier, without knowing what it really meant to be unwound, reading this book really was like putting together the pieces of the puzzle I didn't want to know the picture to. The people they meet along the way change their perception of what is is to be an Unwind, how they see themselves, and develop a keen sense of (and distaste for) how easy it is to throw someone way - and not just Unwinds, either - no matter who they are to you. Their only goal is to make it until eighteen, to live.

It is difficult to put into words just how awesome (in the most literal sense) I thought this book was. I won't lie, this is a difficult book to read, but I would implore anyone that if you haven't read this book that you should at least consider it. Everything about it was so well thought out from the references to actual events under the part headers which tie into what is happening within that section of the book to the realism of it all - despite that current science isn't up to par for this, thankfully, there wasn't a moment where something stood out to me because it was implausible. I loved these characters not because they were on their death beds but because they had real, human reactions to the situation and their journey was courageous and heartbreaking.

As a forewarning - there is one scene that is  probably the most graphic thing that I've ever read, not because of blood and gore but simply due to the absence of words and things left implied that go straight to your imagination. Even still, I haven't added a book to my favorites in a long time, but Unwind was an immediate add. 

review: die for me by amy plum

Author: Amy Plum
Publication Date: 05/11/2011
Publisher: HarperTeen 
Pages: 341
Source: Library

In the City of Lights, two star-crossed lovers battle a fate that is destined to tear them apart again and again for eternity.

When Kate Mercier's parents die in a tragic car accident, she leaves her life--and memories--behind to live with her grandparents in Paris. For Kate, the only way to survive her pain is escaping into the world of books and Parisian art. Until she meets Vincent.

Mysterious, charming, and devastatingly handsome, Vincent threatens to melt the ice around Kate's guarded heart with just his smile. As she begins to fall in love with Vincent, Kate discovers that he's a revenant. Vincent and those like him are bound in a centuries-old war against a group of evil revenants who exist only to murder and betray. Kate soon realizes that if she follows her heart, she may never be safe again. 
Note: I removed a very small portion of the synopsis from goodreads - the sentence that defined what a revenant is as this is something I feel should be discovered during reading.

When I saw this book was set in Paris I was immediately intrigued. Paris is such a historically rich location and I was curious to see how it as a backdrop would be used in the story. One of my favorite aspects of the book, probably because it's something I love to do, is Kate exploring her arrondissement by visiting cafés to find the perfect one for her. And when she does she sits in the corner with a good book and a cup of coffee and contentedly reads the hours away. You can tell Amy is intimately familiar with France by her subtle use of the language and references to places that fleshed out the reader's idea of Paris turning it into a realistic setting rather than an overly-described Google search. 

The one issue I had with it was the way that Kate and Vincent started their friendship. It would make sense that they first saw each other at the café as that's where Kate spent the majority of her time, but the subsequent meetings were bizarre and would have freaked me out if I were Kate - you can't get out of being creepy by telling a girl she's cute.
"And the girl I've seen you around the neighborhood with would be your..."
"Sister," I said slowly. "Have you been spying on me?"
"Two cute girls move to the area - what am I supposed to do?" (p 37)
Aside from the origins of their attraction I never felt that Kate was drawing away from everyone else due to her relationship with Vincent. In fact, she often spent time with Vincent's housemates and became good friends with them - and I loved them, too! Jules in particular was my favorite housemate with his flirtatious jokes yet when someone needed him he was right there. Kate's family was fun to visit and although we didn't see enough of them as I would have liked, the reasons for Kate not being home were entirely reasonable. (Going out after being depressed and staying in her room in a funk was a good sign for her them.) When Kate was at home it was easy to get a feel for just how close she and her sister, Georgia, were with her grandparents.

I don't want to give too much away by talking about what a revenant is - although if you know French you probably have an idea - or where they came from, but the idea of them was something pretty original as far as paranormal themes are concerned and played a large part in why the book was so intriguing for me. By the end of the book I was rooting for Vincent, Kate and all of her new friends. This is a book that is perfectly fine to read as a stand-alone, but there will be more coming. Hats off to Amy Plum for a great debut.

I haven't gotten too many new books lately as I'm still a week or so behind in catching up with everything I have, although I do have some holds waiting at the library.

Buried, Robin Merrow MacCready
Hold Still, Nina LaCour
Lost Time, Susan Maupin Schmid

These guys were on sale at Amazon and I think I got them all for about $10 with free shipping courtesy of another trial of Amazon Prime.

Misfit, Jon Skovron

Enclave, Ann Aguire

Tuesday I'll be receiving the bookshelf that I ordered so then I can clean up everything, organise my TBR pile, and then perhaps make another video IMM! I'm looking forward to see what you all are reading this week.


I am presently on hiatus into the foreseeable future. You can find me on twitter, tumblr, or my writing website, wooordsea.com

See you there!

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