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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Review: DIE FOR ME (Revenants, 1) by Amy Plum (HarperCollins, 2011)

From AmyPlumBooks.comhttp://www.amyplumbooks.com/books/: 

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 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–an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save the lives of others. 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.

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Audience: Young Adult
Length: 344 pgs
Rating: **+ (I liked it.)
Review: First off, excellent concept. The idea of people who save the lives of other constantly, who battle evil. I love the idea. I was swept in at the beginning and was right with Kate as she discovers Vincent and who he is. Then in the middle it swung off the tracks for me. I think I wanted something packed with action, and if I'd read this as a basic romance with some thrills, I would have seen it differently. The middle became all about their relationship and much less about the larger plot that involved revenants--and that's what I wanted to explore. So, unfortunately, for me, by the end, the action felt contrived and settled fairly easily. The middle also felt like Twilight, but in Paris. The author began with some distinctions between the French culture, but also as the book went further along, it lost that. The characters--besides Kate and her sister, who are American--all spoke like Americans, using colloquialisms that the author corrected early on. Not sure if I'm interested enough to read the second and third books.
Sex - 2+/5 She and Vincent cut off a passionate kiss that both infer is very close to leading further. They kiss passionately several times. Kate discusses nude people in art. There is a nude model in Jules' apartment when Kate visits.
Language - 2/5 Constant vain use of "God." Two instances of "Damn"
Violence - 3/5 Lots of discussion of people dying and how they died. Fighting. A detailed and gory fight scene at the end.
Substance Abuse - 1/5 They got to clubs and other characters drink alcohol, though Kate drinks only Coke. She drinks "bubbly" at her birthday dinner.
Source: Bought on Kindle during a $1.99 promotion
Try this. Like Young Adult Paranormal Romance? Read PARANORMALCY by Kiersten White.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Review: TIGER LILY by Jodi Lynn Anderson (HarperTeen, 2012)

From AmazonIn this stunning re-imagining of J. M. Barrie's beloved classic Peter PanNew York Times bestselling author Jodi Lynn Anderson expertly weaves a gripping tale of love, loss, and adventure.
Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair… Tiger Lily. When fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan deep in the forbidden woods of Neverland, the two form a bond that's impossible to break, but also impossible to hold on to. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland's inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. However, when Wendy Darling, a girl who is everything Tiger Lily is not, arrives on the island, Tiger Lily discovers how far she is willing to go to keep Peter with her, and in Neverland.
Told from the perspective of tiny, fairy-sized Tinkerbell, Tiger Lily is the breathtaking story of budding romance, letting go and the pains of growing up.

Genre: Young Adult Romance
Audience: Young Adult
Length: 309 pgs

Rating: ***** (Really loved it)

Review: In preparation for this book, I read Peter Pan. It was quick. Loved it. Fun voice. Adorable. Then I read Tiger Lily. Loved it, in a the bitterest way. First off, the idea of Tinkerbell narrating was ingenious. I loved the voice. I loved how Anderson stayed true to the character while still giving it her own spin. Perfect. I LOVED reading about Tiger Lily. I loved how she did Peter. True, but different. Perfect too. ALL the characters in this novel, the smallest of small, were so round and I loved them all. The end is so bittersweet, but if you've read Peter Pan, you know how that turns out. It's such a ride finding out how Anderson spins it all in. And all with such beautiful language too. Honestly, it did have more issues that I really like, but you all know me. I'm not much of a YA, contemporary-issue book person.

It is just that she was fifteen once for the first time, and Peter walked across her heart, and left his footprints there.

Sex - 2/5 Tiger Lily spends the night with the lost boys and lays down with Peter, but there's no discussion of sex. Rape is discussed.
Language 2/5 
Violence 3/5 Rape. Killing. Suicide. SPOILERS Tiger Lily is involved in *revenge* killings, one that she actually could not have possibly committed, but that the villagers attribute to her; the other it's only intimated that it was probably her. It intimates that another village girl kills a man who repeatedly raped her. (Even though some of these were *justified* they did really bother me in that it seemed like the tone of the book was "they did this and it's okay because the people who died deserved it.)
Heartbreak - 5/5 ;) But it's beautiful. Don't worry.

Source: Free on Kindle during a promotion.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Review: TWELFTH NIGHT by Deanna Raybourn

From www.DeannaRaybourn.com: To mark the passing of another decade, the esteemed (and eccentric) March family have assembled at Bellmont Abbey to perform the Twelfth Night Revels for their sleepy English village. But before Lady Julia and her handsome sleuthing husband, Nicolas Brisbane, can take to the stage, a ruckus in the stable yard demands their attention. An abandoned infant is found nestled in the steel helm of St. George. What’s more, their only lead is the local legend of a haunted cottage and its ghastly inhabitant—who seems to have returned.
Once again, Lady Julia and Nicholas take up the challenge to investigate, and when the source of the mystery is revealed, they’ll be faced with an impossible choice—one that will alter the course of their lives forever.

Genre: Romance, Mystery
Audience: Adult
Length: 51 pages

Rating: **** (Loved it)

Review: First off, I loved the voice of this novel. Lady Julia was a fantastic narrator who drew me in right off. To be honest, the whole thing was just too short! It was really fun and I loved the relationship between Lady Julia and her husband Nicholas. The "mystery" solved itself too easily, I thought, but it was only fifty pages. Having never read any of the others, I felt lost sometimes, but not in a frustrating way--more in a way that I wanted to read the rest of the books.

Sex - 2/5 (Lady Julia and her husband's nighttime activities are discussed, though tastefully. Lady Julia talks about her sister having lived with another woman as "man and wife, or wife and wife.")
Language - 0/5 (None that I recall...)
Violence - 0/5

Source: Via Kindle during a free promotion

Try this. If you like fun historical romance novellas, read mine, A LADY AND A SPY

About Me!

I've been writing since I was old enough to grasp a crayon--my grandma even has an early copy of a "book" I made her. I have a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Wyoming and will (hopefully) soon be starting a graduate program in English. When I'm not breaking up impromptu UFC fights in the living room or losing miserably to my boys at Uno, I'm ... well, writing or editing, of course! I'm married to my best friend, and we have three rambunctious but simply amazing little boys.


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