Monday, October 17, 2016

Diamonds & Deceit


STOP reading if you have not read Cinders and Sapphires!

Ok, don't say I didn't warn you!

   It's disgusting how addicted I am to this series, it really is. I am SO happy I was able to find book 2 of the At Somerton series on Hoopla Digital (thanks to my library having it available to patrons for free! YAY!) because it's kind of hard to find this in print. (The 3rd book is not even available in PRINT as I have now realized, but more on that later!)
   Anyway, in case you don't know, Leela Rasheed's Diamond's and Deceit is book 2 in the At Somerton series, which I can best describe as Downton Abbey for teens. This is one of those books, where if you look at it closely, not much happens... and yet SO MUCH HAPPENS!
   Since the end of book 1 (which is called either Secrets and Sapphires or Cinders and Sapphires depending on whether you read it in the UK or in the USA) house maid Rose Cliffe has learned she is actually LADY Rose, illegitimate daughter of Lord Westlake. Lady Ada, her half sister, is torn between a man she respects, but doesn't love and the real love of her life, a young Indian man named Ravi, and they have both gone with their new step-mother and step-sister (the wretched Charlotte) to London for their first "out" season as proper young ladies.
   Meanwhile, back at Somerton, the girls step-brother Sebastian is sick with worry over his lover Oliver, who is being charged with a murder Sebastian committed.... not to mention all the drama being perpetrated "downstairs" by the staff and all THEIR secrets!

Final review 4/5 bookmarks, because I just could NOT put it down! And I hate myself for it in the best possible way.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

100 Days

   Agnes is a teenage girl who looks like 90 year old woman. She has Progeria, an aging disease that is making her old before her time. It also makes her abnormally tiny, and her bones are brittle, so it's very easy for her to get seriously hurt.
   Fortunately, Agnes has an amazing best friend, Moira, the tall Goth girl, who has been Agnes' self-assigned bodyguard for as long the two can remember. Unfortunately, Agnes and Moira don't know it, but Agnes only has 100 Days left to live.
   Enter Boone, a fellow student who was once friends with both girls, until a fateful day in gym class, when Boone did something stupid. Something that left Moira embarrassed and Agnes hurt. Now the three have been thrown back together, mostly against their will, and Boone has so many things to worry about already that he really doesn't need these two weird girls to worry about to: his dad is dead, his mom is basically a zombie and Boone's just trying to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table until she snaps out of it.
    Nicole McInnes has done a beautiful job with this book. The format is perfect: it's told in 100 chapters each covering one day of life, switching points of view between all 3 of our main characters. Somehow in that span, the author manages to touch on themes of love, death, illness, fear, insecurity, family and basically just all the chaos and horror and beauty and insanity of being a teenager, let alone with with a rare, incurable, 100% fatal disease.
   I won't lie, I cried, and you probably will too, but in the end the tears were not so much about the sadness of Anges' short life, but about the beauty of youth, friendship and love.

Final rating: 4/5 bookmarks. One of the best titles I have read this year. Very much recommended.

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Killer In Me

     Nina Barrows can't sleep. Every time she does, she is haunted by dreams of a serial killer. Except Nina knows they are not dreams... what she is seeing is the real actions of a real person. A man she knows only as "the Thief." Nina knows that this man is real, and extremely dangerous, but she can't tell anyone because she has no explanation of how she knows that he has murdered several people... she would sound completely insane, especially since she is a teenage girl living in Vermont and the Thief is a grown MAN who lives in New Mexico.
    But now, Nina knows she has to act, because she has seen the Thief's next victims, and they live just a short drive from her own home. And not only does she need to stop him, she also really needs to find out why this is happening to HER of all people. Why can she think his thoughts, and see what he sees? Why does he only come to her in dreams? Is she crazy? Or is there some other connection with the killer she has missed?

    All of these questions are answered in The Killer in Me Margot Harrison to varying degrees of success. The book certainly has an unusual premise, and for me, it was a nice break from all the dystopia that has been flooding the teen book world for so many years. And of course, I do love a good serial killer story.
   The characters are well developed, for the most part, and I enjoyed the fact that even though the story is told from the point of view of different characters, the transitions are smooth and don't interfere with the overall tale.
   What I didn't like was the coincidences that seem to happen merely for the sake of moving the story along. There are just a few too many times where the reader has to trust that "fate" simply decided to shine down on a character or two at the exact perfect moment.

Final review: 3/5 bookmarks, because there are just TOO many coincidences here.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

The One

*****Spoilers Ahead*****

IF you have not Read The Elite or The Selection there will be SPOILERS AHEAD!!

    Fine, don't say I didn't warn you.

    The One is for all intents and purposes the final book in the Selection series. Though it is followed by The Heir and The Crown, this is where the original America Singer saga ends, since the next two books focus on her daughter, and this is where we see a resolution to the fates of all the girls who were in the original group. 
    Though I did enjoy the series as a whole, this volume treads on some dangerously sappy territory, and is only really salvaged by the escalating threat of attack from the Rebel forces and the brief breaks from the (at this point) gooey romance provided by the abject terror and violence our characters face. 
   Suffice it to say, not everyone's endings are happy. Some of the characters justifiably suffer, others have some pretty terrible things happen to them just as they are beginning to become decent people, but overall, the story is tied up with a neat bow, and so I decided that I will not be reading the next books. I was satisfied with this ending and anything else that comes by will likely only serve to make me wish I had stopped here. So I am stopping here. 

Final review: 3/5 bookmarks. It's over, and I'm glad it ended this way. 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Demon, Volume 1

     Wow. Ok..... um. Before this, my only exposure to Jason Shiga's work was the adorable children's book Meanwhile.

     This is not adorable.

     Nor is it a children's book.

    Demon, Volume 1 is actually one of the sickest, most twisted books I have ever read. And that is saying something.

   I think I can sum it all up by telling you the sentence "slit his throat with a cum knife" is used.

    Yeah. It's line that. Haha!

    Basic premise: Jimmy has lost his family and his will to live so we open to images of his suicide. But, when Jimmy inexplicably wakes up in bed the next morning, he is extremely confused. He continues attempting suicide in a variety of ways, each time waking up anew. And then stuff gets weird.

    Listen, I am not telling you anything else, if you want to know more, you will have to read it. You big sicko, you.

Not for the faint of heart, this book feels extremely gratuitous and just so very wrong. This compendium edition drops on October 4th. Read it at your own risk.

Final Rating: 2/5 bookmarks.