Saturday, January 26, 2013

Every You, Every Me by David Leviathan

"Evan is alone.
His best only friend, Ariel, is gone.
Evan is feels responsible.
And in her wake, Evan is left with nothing a conscience and never-ending insomnia.
But then, while walking to school one morning, Evan finds an envelope in his path. Inside is a photograph. Of nothing. Except the spot where he is standing.
The next day, Evan finds another envelope. In the exact same spot as before. Inside is another photograph. Of him.
Evan's not sure what to think. Is Ariel back? Are the photographs her way of tormenting him for reminding him of what he did to her? Or worse--has someone else found out what he did and is toying with him as punishment? Either way, he will not be able to sleeprest until he finds out who is responsible.
As the cryptic photos keep surfacing, Evan's paranoia amplifies, and the feeling that he never really knew Ariel at all starts to paralyze dominate his life thoughts. Will he uncover the truth before he loses his mind his grasp on reality?"

So, this was very much an angst book. I'd picked it up because of the intrigue of the "picture" mystery, but very quickly realized I'd underestimated the emotions department. Granted, it is about a guy whose one friend is gone, so I should have expected some of that, but it definitely came across very strongly. Very. I was still able to get into it despite the slightly off-putting levels of angst, and was interested by the separation of normal, seemingly ordinary text with the "subtext" in strikethroughs. By the end of the book, the story had started to mess with my mind, turning old preconceptions on their head and twisting my brain as it tried to process new notions. It was really strange once it ended. Oh, but I have to say: I didn't like the characters much at all. I think this is the kind of book that that's expected in, but meh. Just saying. I want to mention, though, that it's short. Really short. It's even shorter than it looks from the outside because sometimes a fragment or photo'll take up just one page--actually, that happened a lot. So, just saying, if you decide to read it you know it'll go fast. I ended up liking it fine enough, especially because of the twists at the end that gave my brain a workout. So, if you like psychological-type books, this one's completely and totally for you. If you don't like angst, you'll pretty much hate it. I s'pose I could swing either way on this one. Find out for yourself? It's at Kettleson.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Illuminate by Aimee Agresti

"Haven Terra is a brainy, shy high school outcast. But everything begins to change when she turns sixteen. Along with her best friend Dante and their quiet and brilliant classmate Lance, she is awarded a prestigious internship in the big city— Chicago—and is sent to live and work at a swanky and stylish hotel under the watchful eyes of a group of gorgeous and shockingly young-looking strangers: powerful and alluring hotel owner Aurelia Brown; her second-in-command, the dashing Lucian Grove; and their stunning but aloof staff of glamazons called The Outfit.

As Haven begins falling for Lucian, she discovers that these beautiful people are not quite what they seem. With the help of a mysterious book, she uncovers a network of secret passageways from the hotel’s jazz-age past that leads her to the heart of the evil agenda of Aurelia and company: they’re in the business of buying souls. Will they succeed in wooing Haven to join them in their recruitment efforts, or will she be able to thwart this devilish set’s plans to take the souls of her classmates on prom night at the hotel?"

So, this was a fairly thick book, and it took me a tiny bit to get into it. Still, once I re-picked it up and got back into it, I was hooked. I loved the images and the luxury. The setting's really well fleshed-out and alluring, and it's not a stretch to picture yourself in the hotel with the characters. There wasn't much in it that truly surprised me, but there were enough new twists to keep it very interesting. I liked the characters, especially Lance. I'll admit, Dante has some good one-liners too. Haven was a good character. She wasn't exceedingly, wholeheartedly unique, but I liked her and could kind of relate to her. There were some slight comic relief spots mixed in with the enthralling nature of the hotel, which I liked. All in all, it's definitely worth reading. No, seriously, you'll like it. It's over at Kettleson.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

"Galen is the prince of the Syrena, sent to land to find a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen — literally, ouch! — both teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma's gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she holds the key to his kingdom . . . 

Told from both Emma and Galen's points of view, here is a fish-out-of-water story that sparkles with intrigue, humor, and waves of romance."

Okay, so, maybe it's just because I'm a total mythology/fantasy (and especially Poseidon) junkie that I loved this week's book. Then again, I don't think that's the only reason I really loved it. It did a really good job of reinventing the "Poseidon/mermaid" concept in a way that I've never seen. And, my favorite part of the book was the characters. I'm really happy to report that this book had really good characters, not like the kind of blah and boring, personality-less characters that sometimes come along with a book like this. I've seen it happen way too often. But anyway, yeah. They were unique, and really funny. I had one of those awkward moments in class a couple times where you start giggling while reading it and get strange looks from your classmates. So it gets my stamp of approval. Oh, and I definitely can't wait for the sequel; the plot was still going full-force up until the end (granted, with a couple predictable places in between, but they were fairly rare). Two thumbs way up. It's at Kettleson.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Finding Somewhere by Joseph Monninger

"Two girls: Best friends Hattie and Delores feel that life in their small New Hampshire town is a dead end.

One horse: Old and about to be put down, Speed gets a reprieve when Hattie and Delores decide to save him.

A road trip: Determined to set Speed free, Hattie and Delores drive him west in search of rangeland. But the road takes some unexpected turns as the girls get their own taste of freedom—and as they confront the reasons they left home."

Okay, I didn't totally love this one as much as I originally figured. It honestly wasn't bad, it was just a little too simple and laid-back for what I was looking for in a book. In the right setting, or for the right person, it could be really good. It gave a very calm and "country" feel, especially with the horse element. The two main characters were unique and strong, which I liked--if, like I said, a little country-ized. The images and the descriptions did a good job of giving you the feeling that you were sitting right next to the girls, whether they were riding along the highway or astride the backs of horses. I think it'd work best on a really lazy day, and especially horse lovers should definitely read it. It just wasn't what I was looking for right now. You should decide for yourself; it's at  Kettleson.