Book Review: Project 17 by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Project 17 CoverBook: Project 17 by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Published December 2007 by Hyperion|248 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: None

Genre: YA Horror/Thriller

Blog Graphic-What It's About

High atop Hathorne Hill, near Boston, sits Danvers State Hospital. Built in 1878 and closed in 1992, this abandoned mental institution is rumored to be the birthplace of the lobotomy. Locals have long believed the place to be haunted. They tell stories about the unmarked graves in the back, of the cold spots felt throughout the underground tunnels, and of the treasures found inside: patients’ personal items like journals, hair combs, and bars of soap, or even their old medical records, left behind by the state for trespassers to view.

On the eve of the hospital’s demolition, six teens break in to spend the night and film a movie about their adventures. For Derik, it’s an opportunity to win a filmmaking contest and save himself from a future of flipping burgers at his parents’ diner. For the others, it’s a chance to be on TV, or a night with no parents. But what starts as a playful dare quickly escalates into a frenzy of nightmarish action. Behind the crumbling walls, down every dark passageway, and in each deserted room, they will unravel the mysteries of those who once lived there and the spirits who still might.

Blog Graphic- What I Thought

I thought Project 17 was okay.  I was expecting something a lot more creepy, with interesting characters, but overall, it was a different book than I was expecting.

So, I thought the characters were pretty shallow and cliche.  Which isn’t necessarily a problem, and sometimes I don’t mind it, but in this case, everything was so predictable and not-creepy that I couldn’t care about any of them.  I did like the idea of visiting this creepy asylum before it’s torn down, and one of the ghosts who haunt Danvers had an interesting story.  But it wasn’t enough to make me fall in love with the story.

Not only that, but this book is narrated by several of the kids visiting Danvers and it did not work in this case. There are a few reasons why:

  • The kids, for the most part, stuck together, so you don’t really see them on their own.  At best, you see them in pairs and it could have been interesting to see the kids go off on their own.
  • They also sounded the same, which made it hard to remember who was narrating.
  • And they all reacted very similar, which made it a little boring, because I really wanted to see different reactions.

I was expecting something a lot creepier and scarier, and I don’t know if I wasn’t creeped out because of the predictability of the book, or if maybe, in this case, I’m too old for it, or if it really tried to be creepy but failed. It was also short, so it felt a little rushed at times, and you didn’t really get too much of the history of Danvers, or a lot of character development.  Really, it shouldn’t have come as a big surprise, and I really wanted more.

Blog Graphic- My Rating

2 stars.  It’s okay, and predictable, and not as creepy as I thought it would be.

Book Review: How To Say Goodbye In Robot by Natalie Standiford

0-545-10708-3Book: How To Say Goodbye In Robot by Natalie Standiford

Published October 2009 by Scholastic Press|276 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: None

Genre: YA Contemporary

Blog Graphic-What It's About

From bestselling author Natalie Standiford, an amazing, touching story of two friends navigating the dark waters of their senior year.

New to town, Beatrice is expecting her new best friend to be one of the girls she meets on the first day. But instead, the alphabet conspires to seat her next to Jonah, aka Ghost Boy, a quiet loner who hasn’t made a new friend since third grade. Something about him, though, gets to Bea, and soon they form an unexpected friendship. It’s not romance, exactly – but it’s definitely love. Still, Bea can’t quite dispel Jonah’s gloom and doom – and as she finds out his family history, she understands why. Can Bea help Jonah? Or is he destined to vanish?

Blog Graphic- What I Thought

I loved How To Say Goodbye In Robot!  It reminded me of Eleanor & Park (you can check out my review here), with the overall feel and tone for the two books being really similar.  How To Say Goodbye In Robot, though, had everything Eleanor & Park didn’t.

I really liked how they bonded over the one late-night radio show, and the different cast of characters that called in every night.  I liked that it was their special thing, and I even liked how Bea didn’t call into the show after Jonah left.  I liked how she wanted to make everything okay for Jonah, and how invisible he must have felt and wanted to be.  And it made me wish that we got to see a chapter or two from his perspective, because for some reason, I really wanted wanted to know what he was thinking and going through.  But at the same time, I think it would have taken away something from Jonah’s story, and what happens to him in the end.

Jonah was frustrating and selfish, and even though there were times I wanted to be mad at him, I found I couldn’t be mad him. Because I understand why he acted the way he did.  He leaves, and Bea doesn’t know what to do, but she seems to be okay in the end.

I think what stood out the most was how complicated and different the relationship between Bea and Jonah. They weren’t together, but they did care for each other in their own way, and yet, their relationship wasn’t quite friendship either.  It’s so hard to describe, but it’s somewhere in between, I think, and that makes it different, because it could have easily been a romance.  I’m glad it wasn’t, though, because I thought their relationship was really interesting and different than most YA contemporaries, and if they were dating?  I think that would have taken away something for me.

Something about this book came to life, especially Night Lights, the radio show they listen to.  The callers are quite the cast of characters, and I really like the impact they have on each other.  They’re quirky and different, and you can’t help but like them and wonder what they’re up to.

Blog Graphic- My Rating

5 stars.  How To Say Goodbye In Robot is such a different book, but I loved it a lot!

Book Review: None Of The Above by I.W. Gregorio

None Of The Above CoverBook: None Of The Above by I.W. Gregorio

Published April 2015 by Balzer + Bray|238 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: None

Genre: YA Contemporary

Blog Graphic-What It's About

A groundbreaking story about a teenage girl who discovers she’s intersex…and what happens when her secret is revealed to the entire school. Incredibly compelling and sensitively told, None of the Above is a thought-provoking novel that explores what it means to be a boy, a girl, or something in between.

What if everything you knew about yourself changed in an instant?

When Kristin Lattimer is voted homecoming queen, it seems like another piece of her ideal life has fallen into place. She’s a champion hurdler with a full scholarship to college and she’s madly in love with her boyfriend. In fact, she’s decided that she’s ready to take things to the next level with him.

But Kristin’s first time isn’t the perfect moment she’s planned—something is very wrong. A visit to the doctor reveals the truth: Kristin is intersex, which means that though she outwardly looks like a girl, she has male chromosomes, not to mention boy “parts.”

Dealing with her body is difficult enough, but when her diagnosis is leaked to the whole school, Kristin’s entire identity is thrown into question. As her world unravels, can she come to terms with her new self?

Blog Graphic- What I ThoughtI loved None Of The Above, and I have the feeling it’s going to end up on my end-of-year favorites list!

I really felt for Kristin, and there were points were I was really angry at her classmates for how they acted. Granted, it’s not surprising, and it seems like they don’t care to know more about it, because they certainly have a lot of misconceptions.  They were just so cruel, and I couldn’t help but be angry on her behalf.  I loved the relationship she had with her dad, who was really supportive.

I really felt like I got to experience the journey with her, and it really opened my eyes to what it’s like to be intersex.  (Much more than Golden Boy, and I think this one is the better of the two).  I also loved that Gregorio had an author’s note at the end of the book about why she wrote None Of The Above, and she even had a recommended reading list at the end- granted, it’s only a few books, plus a few articles and websites to check out.  Reading None Of The Above, it felt like the story was really important (and it definitely is, because I really believe it’s a story that needs to be told) but that author’s note really made me believe it was important for her to tell Kristin’s story.

I also thought that the other relationships were interesting- particularly with her two best friends.  I wish I could remember their names right now, but one gets blamed for telling the entire school, when it wasn’t her fault.  And there’s her other friend, who mentioned it to Sam, Kristin’s ex (she thought he knew), and that was how it spread to the entire school.  Given how supportive she was, it did seem like she was involved somehow, like she was trying to make up for something.  I don’t blame her for it, because she really didn’t mean to, but at the same time, so much happened because of it.  And that character being kind and sweet…I had a hard time seeing it because I had a hard time seeing it as who she really was, instead of the way I saw it: as trying to make up for accidentally telling someone.

Blog Graphic- My Rating

5 stars.  This book is really special, and I loved it!

 

Book Review: Daughter Of Xanadu by Dori Jones Young

Daughter Of Xanadu CoverBook: Daughter Of Xanadu by Dori Jones Young

Published January 2011 by Delacorte Books|336 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: Daughter Of Xanadu #1

Genre: YA Historical Fiction

Blog Graphic-What It's About

Athletic and strong willed, Princess Emmajin’s determined to do what no woman has done before: become a warrior in the army of her grandfather, the Great Khan Khubilai. In the Mongol world the only way to achieve respect is to show bravery and win glory on the battlefield. The last thing she wants is the distraction of the foreigner Marco Polo, who challenges her beliefs in the gardens of Xanadu. Marco has no skills in the “manly arts” of the Mongols: horse racing, archery, and wrestling. Still, he charms the Khan with his wit and story-telling. Emmajin sees a different Marco as they travel across 13th-century China, hunting ‘dragons’ and fighting elephant-back warriors. Now she faces a different battle as she struggles with her attraction towards Marco and her incredible goal of winning fame as a soldier.

Blog Graphic- What I Thought

I liked Daughter Of Xanadu!  I don’t read a lot of historical fiction (and I really should read more of it) but I think Daughter Of Xanadu was enjoyable.

I like that Emmajin wanted so much to be a soldier, but realized it wasn’t what she wanted after fighting in battle.  I’m usually not the biggest fan of characters like Emmajin, but I actually liked her a lot, and she did seem pretty vulnerable at times.  She is a warrior woman, but not in the traditional sense.

It was really nice to see a YA historical fiction set in Asia!  I read a lot of European historical fiction, so something set in Asia is really different for me.  I really liked the map, and how the places had a modern correspondent.  I also liked the glossary and the family tree, because I know nothing about the Mongols or this time period.  It’s actually a really good introduction to the time period and place.

I’m not sure how I feel about the tentative romance between Emmajin and Marco Polo.  I think I might have been fine without, because there was something about it that felt like it was just there, and I didn’t believe in them as a couple.  But I also felt like meeting him provided Emmajin with some new opportunities, and a different path than she expected.  I also felt like meeting him, and people from neighboring countries opened up her world.

I liked it enough that I might read the sequel someday.  Part of me is curious where the story is headed (clearly, Emmajin is going to be travelling, but other than that I couldn’t begin to hazard a guess), but at the same time, things are resolved enough that could work quite well as a stand-alone.

Blog Graphic- My Rating

3 stars.  I liked it, but I didn’t fall in love with it.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books That Celebrate Diversity

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely folks over at The Broke And The Bookish.  Every week, bloggers share their own bookish top ten lists based on the topic of the week.  You can check out Ten Tuesdays here.

Blog Graphic- Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Books That Celebrate Diversity

Reading more diversely has been one of my goals for this year (and it’s going really well), so this list was really fun (and easy) to do!  These are my favorites so far.

  1. Ash by Malinda Lo.  I really liked it!  The easiest way to describe Ash is that it’s a lesbian re-telling of Cinderella, but it’s an awesome re-telling of Cinderella in general.
  2. Taking Flight by Michaela DePrince.  Taking Flight is DePrince’s memoir about how she became a ballerina, after becoming an orphan in Sierra Leone, and it’s really inspiring.
  3. Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.  I really need to read her other books, because I’m really impressed with her after reading Purple Hibiscus.  I really liked seeing Kambili see the way the world changed around her, and there were so many things that I take for granted, and didn’t even realize until I read this book.
  4. Does My Head Look Big In This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah.  I think this is a good book for people who love The Princess Diaries!  I was so angry at some of the characters for the things they said to Amal, but I also loved that she had her beliefs and stuck to them.  I thought she dealt with the stupid comments really well, and I found myself realizing that I don’t know anything about Islam.  (I also realized I want to learn more about Islam, because I find religion and belief systems to be fascinating.  If you have any good recommendations, leave them in the comments!)
  5. Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor.  It’s fantasy/magical realism based off of Nigerian mythology and folklore, and now it makes me want to read those stories.
  6. Under A Painted Sky by Stacey Lee.  It’s set on the Oregon Trail, which is totally awesome.  And two girls (Samantha and Annamae) become great friends.  I especially love that Samantha, who’s Chinese, and Annamae, who’s African-American, share part of their lives and culture throughout the book.
  7. Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley.  I really liked seeing two girls, on opposite sides of the civil rights movement, become friends and even fall for each other.
  8. My Best Friend, Maybe by Caela Carter.  I liked seeing how a friendship fell apart, and how they started to put it back together.  I was so angry at Colette’s mom- she didn’t want Colette to go to Greece with Sadie just because Sadie’s lesbian, but it also made their friendship really interesting too.  It’s a really thoughtful look at friendship, and all of the other things that can make friendship more complicated.
  9. A Moment Comes by Jennifer Bradbury.  I didn’t even know that the partition of India was a thing until I read this book- I also liked that you saw three very different sides to the British leaving India, and figuring out the borders for India and Pakistan.
  10. The Collected Autobiographies Of Maya Angelou.  She has quite a few biographies, and they’re all really good!  She’s such a fascinating person, and I’m really glad that she told her story.
  11. None Of The Above by I.W. Gregorio.  This is such a great book about a girl who learns that she’s intersex!  It’s a new favorite, and it’s heartbreaking at times but also really hopeful and inspiring, and it totally made me think.

Book Review: Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin

Golden Boy CoverBook: Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin

Published May 2013 by Atria|343 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: None

Genre: Adult Contemporary (but I think it has a lot of crossover appeal)

Blog Graphic-What It's About

Max Walker is a golden boy. Attractive, intelligent, and athletic, he’s the perfect son, the perfect friend, and the perfect crush for the girls in his school. He’s even really nice to his little brother. Karen, Max’s mother, is determined to maintain the façade of effortless excellence she has constructed through the years, but now that the boys are getting older, she worries that the façade might soon begin to crumble. Adding to the tension, her husband Steve has chosen this moment to stand for election to Parliament. The spotlight of the media is about to encircle their lives.

The Walkers are hiding something, you see. Max is special. Max is different. Max is intersex. When an enigmatic childhood friend named Hunter steps out of his past and abuses his trust in the worst possible way, Max is forced to consider the nature of his well-kept secret. Why won’t his parents talk about it? What else are they hiding from Max about his condition and from each other? The deeper Max goes, the more questions emerge about where it all leaves him and what his future holds, especially now that he’s starting to fall head over heels for someone for the first time in his life. Will his friends accept him if he is no longer the Golden Boy? Will anyone ever want him—desire him—once they know? And the biggest one of all, the question he has to look inside himself to answer: Who is Max Walker, really?

Written by twenty-six-year-old rising star Abigail Tarttelin, Golden Boy is a novel you’ll read in one sitting but will never forget; at once a riveting tale of a family in crisis, a fascinating exploration of identity, and a coming-of-age story like no other.

Blog Graphic- What I Thought

I have so many thoughts about Golden Boy!  Golden Boy was a frustrating/okay read for me, but I also get why people love it so much.

I think I’m going to start off this review with everything I didn’t like, because it’s hard to talk about what I did like without mentioning what I didn’t like.

From this point forward, there are going to be spoilers, because I just can’t be vague in this review.

Initially, when Max was raped by Hunter (his cousin in the sense that they’re not blood-related but grew up together, thus making them related), it seemed like Hunter knew that Max was intersex, but Max didn’t know.  At least very least, it seemed like Max knew something, but wasn’t sure what.  The rape scene was hard to read (it’s about 20 pages in, and is over in a couple of pages if that’s a trigger for you) but it does set up everything else that happens in the book.  We do learn that Max does know, but we also see throughout the book how little he knows.

Karen, by far, was the most frustrating character in the book, and at one point, I reached for a highlighter before remembering that highlighting in a library would be a very bad idea.  So instead, I used those sticky flag things to mark a few things I wanted to remember for later.  Basically, the mom’s way of dealing with everything is to have her husband deal with it, and to pretend like it isn’t happening.  Max being moody makes her uncomfortable, and she’s terrified of losing him to adolescence. I’m not a parent, so I can’t speak to that, but the thought of not being in control seems to bother her.

She also sees intersex as a disease, and that Max will no longer be intersex if he has a hysterectomy.  It has to be hard, but…it also doesn’t mean it’s going to magically go away, and it seems like she has a really hard time accepting it.  Understandable, because she’s a person and a mother, and maybe she blames herself, but… She wants him to have it right after having an abortion to get it over with.  Max needs some time to think about the abortion, because everything moves so fast, but his mom ignores it, and doesn’t say anything to the doctors.  This, of course, causes problems with her husband and Max.  It just really seems like what Max wants isn’t super-important to her- it’s a lot to handle, especially for a teenage boy, and he is, I think, old enough to have a significant part in things.

As for the other characters: the doctor does seem to care, and willing to explain things to Max, which is more than I can say about the other characters.  His opinion seems to matter to her.  Sylvie- I honestly can’t remember much about her, but she is also awesomely accepting of Max.  His younger brother seems to handle Max being intersex remarkably better than Max and his parents, more than you’d expect for a 10 year old. He’s mature enough that I kept forgetting he was 10, so he either needed to be less mature or older.  And Max’s dad wasn’t really in the picture- he’s there enough, and it seems important to him that Max have a say, but no one really seems to talk about it either.  Until they have to, of course.

As for Max, he seems to be really well-adjusted with everything, until he’s not.  Then again, he does try hard to be perfect, and I wonder if it’s because he feels pressure from his mom to be perfect.

I can also see why it would be shelved in the YA section, but I felt like the narration from the adults were too frequent for it to be in the YA section.  Plus, there was something about the tone and feel of the book that seemed more towards the adult end of things, but there is something about it that I think older teens would like.

Still, as frustrated as I got when reading Golden Boy, I did like the family dynamic, and how they did (or didn’t) deal with Max’s pregnancy/intersex-related issues.

Blog Graphic- My Rating

2 stars.  The family dynamic was interesting, and I certainly felt for Max, but I found myself frustrated enough with the mom that I couldn’t overlook it.  I would still recommend it, though, because it deals with issues most people probably don’t think about.

Book Review: Mismatch by Lensey Namioka

Mismatch CoverBook: Mismatch by Lensey Namioka

Published February 2006 by Delacorte Books|217 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: None

Genre: YA Contemporary

Blog Graphic-What It's About

Sue Hua just moved from racially diverse Seattle to a suburban white-bread town where she feels like the only Asian American for miles. Then she meets Andy, a handsome and passionate violin player who happens to be Asian American. Sue feels an instant attraction to Andy, and her white friends think they’re “made for each other”–after all, they both use chopsticks and eat a lot of rice, right? But there’s just one problem. Andy’s last name is Suzuki. And while that may mean nothing to the other students at Lakeview High, Sue knows that it presents a world of problems to her family.

Blog Graphic- What I Thought

I’m not sure how I feel about Mismatch!  There were some things I liked, and some things I didn’t like.

I thought Mismatch did a great job at highlighting racism and stereotypes.  I did find it to be repetitive at times, which did get frustrating, particularly by the end of the book.  But at the same time, I can put the book down and walk away from it, but people who experience it can’t do that, so it did get me to think about that.

I totally understand why her grandma hated the Japanese.  You don’t get a lot of detail, but you do get enough to see why.  It’s the same with Andy’s dad, and even Sue’s mom.  You do get a glimpse of the history between China and Japan, and some of the things that happened during World War 2 and after, especially once Sue goes on the orchestra trip to Japan.

Some of the conflicts seem to be resolved really fast, and overall, the book skews towards the younger end of YA…maybe (MAYBE) the older end of middle grade.  (That’s a strong maybe, though, it sort of depends on the kid).  I wish there had been a little more to it, but I also think it’s a good way to talk about history and stereotypes and racism.

Blog Graphic- My Rating

2 stars.  I don’t have a lot to say about Mismatch, other than what I’ve already said.

Book Review: Guardian Of The Dead by Karen Healy

Guardian Of The Dead CoverBook: Guardian Of The Dead by Karen Healy

Published April 2010 by Little, Brown & Company|342 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: None

Genre: YA Paranormal/Urban Fantasy/Re-telling

Blog Graphic-What It's About

“You’re Ellie Spencer.”

I opened my mouth, just as he added, “And your eyes are opening.”

Seventeen-year-old Ellie Spencer is just like any other teenager at her boarding school. She hangs out with her best friend, Kevin; she obsesses over Mark, a cute and mysterious bad boy; and her biggest worry is her paper deadline.

But then everything changes. The news headlines are all abuzz about a local string of killings that share the same morbid trademark: the victims were discovered with their eyes missing. Then a beautiful yet eerie woman enters Ellie’s circle of friends and develops an unhealthy fascination with Kevin, and a crazed old man grabs Ellie in a public square and shoves a tattered Bible into her hands, exclaiming, “You need it. It will save your soul.” Soon, Ellie finds herself plunged into a haunting world of vengeful fairies in an epic battle for immortality.

Debut author Karen Healey introduces a savvy and spirited heroine with a fresh, strong voice. Full of deliciously creepy details, this incredible adventure is a deftly crafted story of Māori mythology, romance, and betrayal.

Blog Graphic- What I Thought

I really liked Guardian Of The Dead!  What made this book really unique was the fact that it was a re-telling of Maori mythology, which is such a nice change from the Greek mythology re-tellings that are everywhere these days.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Greek mythology re-tellings, but it’s also nice to see myths from the rest of the world.

Guardian Of The Dead takes place in New Zealand, and you can tell there are a lot of traditions, which was really nice to see! There wasn’t a lot of info-dumping, which was nice, but at the same time, it made me wish I were more about New Zealand and Maori myth.  It’s not that you can’t understand what’s going on, because you can (and you can always read more about it) but I think part of why I didn’t love it was because everything was slightly unfamiliar to me.  Which also made it interesting and pretty awesome because there is so much I didn’t know and it makes me want to read more about Maori myths.  The glossary at the end of the book was really helpful, and I liked that Healy had some recommended reading at the end. And that she explained the inspiration behind the book.

I’m not really sure what I was expecting when I started reading this book, but it was quite the journey! Everything starts to come to get as you keep reading, so definitely give the book some time for everything to be revealed.  And the fact that the myths were there as long as people believed in them was a really cool concept that really reminded me of Antigoddess by Kendare Blake (but in a completely different way).

Another thing I really liked about the book is the fact that Ellie’s best friend is asexual.  I liked that it wasn’t a big deal (except to anyone who has a crush on him, which seems to be quite a few people) but there was a point where I felt like it was there to make a certain plot point really stand out.  (Thankfully, that feeling didn’t last long, and it wasn’t really something that came up in that way again).  And I’m actually willing to overlook it, because I was just really excited about an asexual character.

Blog Graphic- My Rating

4 stars.  Guardian Of The Dead is a really unique book, and I love that it re-tells Maori myths!

Book Review: Renegade by Cambria Hebert

Renegade Cambria Hebert CoverBook: Renegade by Cambria Hebert

Published May 2013 by Smashwords|240 pages

Where I Got It: I got the e-book from the Nook store

Series: Heven & Hell #4

Genre: YA Paranormal

Blog Graphic-What It's About

I’ve been beautiful. I’ve been ugly. I’ve died. I’ve been brought back. I’ve had abilities awakened within me. My strength has been tested. My beliefs have been tested.

Yet I stand.

What’s next when you’ve pretty much experienced it all?

The end.

Sam and I are picking up the pieces. We’re trying to come to terms with all we’ve lost. And as much as I would like to hide my head, ignore the reality I live every day, there is no forgetting.

Riley is in hell—I’m still not sure of his agenda. My mother’s past haunts me. And Kimber… Kimber is being herself. Cole sneaks glances at Gemma and she returns them when she thinks I don’t see.

But I do.

When Beelzebub escapes he brings his war to places I never thought he would. Earth. Maine. Home. Now everyone and everything is at risk. This has become bigger than my circle of friends. This has become bigger than me. I have to finish this. I have to find a way to stop him, to finish this war.

I just pray we will all be left standing in the end.

Blog Graphic- What I Thought

I’ve really enjoyed the other books in this series, and Renegade was no exception!  I think I liked it about the same as Tirade, maybe a little more.

I definitely got pulled back into this world, which I really like.  It’s different than a lot of other paranormal books I’ve read, and it was nice to jump back into Heven’s life.

Everyone got the ending they deserved, and I’m glad things worked out for so many characters.  There were some unexpected happenings, but even then, I wasn’t too surprised they happened (even if I didn’t want things to go that way).

Still, the one person I wanted to know more about was Kimber!  She’s definitely her selfish, jealous self in this one, and her story is the one that felt the most unresolved to me.  I’m really curious about what happened to her more than anyone else because of that.  And there is something about it that leaves me hoping (at least a little) that there’s at least one book set in this world about her.  It’s the same with Riley, at least in terms of slightly unfinished story lines.

While things are (mostly) resolved, there are I few things I’m slightly curious about because there weren’t a lot of details.  Like, the girl that China killed in the first book…did the family ever get closure with what happened to her?  And did Sam ever find his peace with what happened?

Also: the real reason why Heven’s mom thought she was marked for hell.  We get more of that backstory, but not enough to make me happy!  And I wish Gran had more of a role in the series, but particularly this book, with some of the things that Gran’s been hiding.  She’s such an awesome character, and her few appearances makes me wish we saw more of her.

Blog Graphic- My Rating

3 stars.  I thought it was a really good conclusion to the series, and I’m sad that it’s over (but at least there are novellas to read!) but there was something about this book that was slightly repetitive.  Still, I liked it!

Top Ten Tuesday: Last Ten Books That Came Into My Possession

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely folks over at The Broke And The Bookish.  Every week, bloggers share their own bookish top ten lists based on the topic of the week.  You can check out Ten Tuesdays here.

Blog Graphic- Top Ten Tuesday

Last Ten Books That Came Into My Possession

I really thought that this would be a hard one, since I don’t pay a lot of attention to when I actually get books, so I went with ten that I remember getting recently.  Thankfully, I had no trouble, so here are the books that I got recently!

Books I Bought:

  1. The Color Purple.  I got on the Kindle app for 9 cents, plus I’ve wanted to read it for a while.
  2. Heart Of Betrayal by Mary Pearson.  I picked this one up at the book signing I went to last week, and I am so excited about reading it, especially since The Kiss Of Deception is awesome!

From The Library:

  1. The Heir by Kiera Cass.  I can’t wait to see where the story goes!
  2. When The Elephants Dance by Tess Urisa Holthe.  I just couldn’t get into it, which makes me a little sad that I ended up DNF-ing it because it seemed interesting.  We just didn’t work out.
  3. Blue Diary by Alice Hoffman.  I’ve read a few of her books, and really liked them, but I’m not completely into it, because I find the random switch in narrators to be really confusing and irritating.  I’m pretty sure I’ll end up DNF-ing it.
  4. Project 17 by Laurie Faria Stolarz.  I hope it’s as creepy as it sounds!
  5. How To Say Goodbye In Robot by Natalie Standiford.  This YA contemporary about friendship and family secrets seems right up my alley!
  6. None Of The Above by I.W. Gregorio.  I’m reading this now, and even though I’m not finished yet, it’s totally awesome, and I’m glad I picked it up!

Audio Books:

  1. Joyride by Anna Banks.  I got this one from Audible, and I can’t wait to listen to it!
  2. Pretty much everything from Audio Book Sync.  I always forget but this year I actually remembered!  (Also: having them text me reminders for when new books are available helps).