Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

The Body Finder is about Violet, a girl with the ability, or perhaps curse, of being able to sense echoes of the dead. The echo can be visual, auditory, or even a taste. Her ability is something she's kept secret from all but those closest to her, but when a serial killer starts stalking her town, Violet realizes she is the only one who can catch him. That is, if she can manage to get away from over protective parents, police chief uncle, and her best friend (who is rapidly becoming more than just a friend) Jay.

The Body Finder is breath taking. I was on the edge of my seat in suspense, yelling at all the characters for making those fatal mistakes, dying to see how it was all going to be resolved. I suspected everyone of being the killer at some point in the novel before finally deciding on who I thought it was and was thrilled when I got it right.

The novel alternates between Violet's point of view and the serial killer's point of view. Kimberly Derting can write a serial killer brilliantly. The different points-of-view was something that I didn't expect, but was a touch that made this novel amazing for me. Derting has the perfect balance of everything. While looking for a serial killer, Violet is grappling with her muddled feelings for Jay, her best friend since kindergarten, but her feelings are anything but friendly. Oddly enough, the two contrasts-love and the ultimate act of violence-do wonders to off set each other, and the novel is never bogged down with too much of one thing.

For the first time in a long time, the teenage characters actually acted and talked like real teenagers. Violet and her best friends are constantly teasing each other, the popular, gorgeous, destined to be Homecoming queen is a witch, and the boys are in love with their cars.

Violet is strong and stubborn even to the point of foolishness. Jay is entirely over protective and scolds Violet for the stupid things she does, but his anger is understandable. After all, that's not too much scarier than chasing after a serial killer.

It was a little hard for me to get into the book at first, and there were a few too many ellipses for my taste at first, but the heart-pounding ending erased any negative thoughts I had about the book.

The Body Finder gets a five out of five for suspenseful romance, an adrenaline pumping ending, and a strong female protagonist.

People I would recommend this to: Twilight fans who want something new, supernatural fans, romance fans, those who read about serial killers

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Contest for Gone by Lisa McMann

The Book Resort is hosting a contest to win an ARC of Gone by Lisa McMann, the conclusion to a wonderful trilogy. Perhaps I should review the first two books in order to convince you to read them. I'm super excited for this book and this series is awesome.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Contest for Shadow Hills ARC is hosting a giveway of a signed ARC of Shadow Hills, the debut novel by Anastasia Hopcus. A blogger I met while at work told me about this book, so I immediately came home and looked it up, intrigued by the title. I was even more intrigued by the description. Shadow Hills is a book I'm aching to get my hands on, but it isn't being released until July. Not only can you enter to win an awesome ARC, you can check out her awesome page at the same time.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Soulstice by Simon Holt

Soulstice is the nail biting, spine tingling sequel to The Devouring. Simon Holt dishes out another horror, nightmare filled novel, as Reggie must battle the Vours not for her brother this time, not even just for herself, but for everyone as she learns just how formidable and organized the Vours are. Where the first book is centered around the Winter Solstice, Soulstice is centered around the Summer Solstice, a day when the line between our world and the Vours is at its lowest, and the Vours are at their most powerful.

Soulstice delivers a whole new world of terror and Fearscapes. Simon Holt is a horror genuis and still had me on pins and needles, sending my mind whirling as new information about the Vours was revealed. Though I logically knew none of it was real, my heart clenched in fear throughout most of the novel. This stunning sequel is just as good as the first, if not better.

My gripe doesn’t even qualify as a real gripe. The book ended with the biggest cliffhanger, and I’m dying for the third book slated to be released in fall 2010.

People I would recommend this to: horror fans, R.L. Stine, Stephen King, H.P. Lovecraft

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick walked the fine, blurred line of a mysterious, dangerous boy and the real danger of someone trying to kill the main character. The book is fast paced, and I loved every infuriating minute of it. Despite knowing the Patch is a fallen angel (the cover clearly lets reader know what the book is going to be about) it takes forever for the main characer to figure this out. However, Hush, Hush fills the in between with plenty of action and suspense, so that quickly becomes a moot point.

The chemistry between Patch and Nora is lush and vivid. I found myself longing for the scenes with them together just to see what would happen. I also found myself infuriated at Patch for being so freaking mysterious. I wanted to go into the book and shake him until he told what he really was. To some people that would seem like something negative, but I love when a author can make me care that much about a character. Being emotionally invested in the characters while I read a book is one of the most important parts of truly enjoying a novel for me. Hush, Hush did even more than that. Honestly, I wanted to slap Patch across the face and for him to spit it out already, yet I wanted to just simply touch him at the same time, just to feel his skin.

As much as I loved the interaction between Patch and Nora, I adored the scenes with Nora and her best friend, Vee. They acted like real teenage best friends, making fun of each other, and other small nuances that echo what real relationships are. It was also refreshing to have the main character have a normal, human best friend with whom to share her concerns and fears about the new, dangerous boy so suddenly in her life.

As much as Hush, Hush is a dark, rich romance it is also a heart pounding mystery when someone repeatedly tries to kill Nora and makes her doubt her sanity. This kept me wondering until the very end. I changed my mind several times throughout the novel about who this masked attacker was, ending up being right once, but then changing my mind back to the wrong one.

I have very few gripes with this awesome book, but one is that it did take so long to finally reveal what Patch was when the cover so clearly showed that he was a fallen angel, or at the very least some sort of angel. Early on in the book, this is hinted at, but it isn’t until the very end that it’s confirmed.

Hush, Hush gets a four and a half out of five.

The sequel, Crescendo, is due out in fall 2010.

People I would recommend this to: anyone wanting romance, supernatural, and the usual Twilight plug that all YA supernatural book gets

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Devouring by Simon Holt

The Devouring is a slightly less known book that is stunning. The Devouring stole my breath away. I was on pins and needles until the very end; I wanted to scream in suspense and fear. The Devouring is the creepiest, scariest book I've ever read.

The Devouring is about the Vours, this supernatural evil thing, that comes in on Sorry Night (Winter Solstice) and takes control of your body, imitating a person's personality while they hold your soul captive in a nightmare world called a fearscape. The back of the book says "When dark creeps in and eats the light,/Bury your fear on Sorry Night./For in the winter's blackest hours/Comes the feasting of the Vours./No one can see it, the life they stole,/Your body's here but not your soul..."

The main character, Reggie, reads about the Vours in an old, mysterious journal she finds at the used and rare bookstore where she works. Then, the creepy story in the journal becomes too real when her little brother starts acting oddly. To save him, Reggie must decide if she can devour her own fears.

The Devouring set my teeth on edge and made my heart pound. I found myself wanting to cover my eyes, but couldn't because that would mean not finding out what happened next. The author preys on people's common fear, like spiders and clowns, that will send shivers up your spines. I read this in public at a restaurant while waiting on my food and had our waitress cracking up because of all the faces I was making. The Devouring made me cringe in horror and delight. I literally couldn't put this book down until the very end. I never could guess how it was going to end despite my best efforts. You will definitely not sleep soundly after reading this.

It's also more than just a horror book. There's wonderful, typical interaction between Reggie and her little brother. Reggie is an excellent character who never gives up and never backs down.

My gripe about this book? There isn't one. Simon Holt is perfection with his brilliant writing and the ability to make you believe the Vours are real. The Winter Solstice had a whole new meaning that year. The pacing is perfect: never too slow and never too fast.

This book gets a resounding five out of five.

People I would recommend this book to: fans of R.L. Stine, Stephen King, horror, H.P. Lovecraft

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Shiver is being heralded as the new Twilight, and I completely agree. Shiver is the best new supernatural, young adult romance since Twilight came out way back in 2005. I was a rabid fan of Twilight when it first came out and never thought anything could measure up to it. This was before I got my hands on Shiver.

Shiver is the story of Sam and Grace. Grace has always been fascinated by the wolves in the woods behind her house. One night, she is attacked by the wolves, but is saved by the wolf with yellow eyes. She deems this her wolf and watches as they return in the winter and leave in the spring. Then, one summer she meets a boy with those exact eyes that she is sure is her wolf.

I didn't want to like Shiver. I'm not a werewolf person. I've always preferred my leading men cold and dead. I devoured half of Shiver in one sitting before I even knew what happened. Sam and Grace's relationship is electrifying and has that breathless, aching romance that so many readers fell in love with when Twilight came out. Shiver does that and more. Grace and Sam desperately need each other, but their relationship is much more balanced than Edward's and Bella's. Shiver also has many more plot twists than Twilight ever dreamed of having. I didn't think I was invested in Sam and Grace's relationship until the very end at which I almost cried when things starting going south. I won't say any more than that; you wouldn't want me to ruin the ending for you. I almost never cry at books, and the talented Maggie had me shedding a tear or two despite my best efforts. This book left me with the great, "Ahh, that was amazing. My life is great" feeling while aching for more. I also immediately wanted to read it again, to bask in all of it's glory instead of feverishly racing through to discover the ending.

My only gripe, and mind it is only one, is that Sam is a song writer and the book included his flowerly, slightly emo songs. I really just wanted to hug him and tell him he was fine on his own. We don't need songs to know how amazing you are. There aren't that many songs, and it did very little to detract from my love of the book.

I give Shiver a five out of five. You can not go wrong with this book. I'm so excited about this book, and I'm even more excited for the sequel, Linger, to be released on July 20, 2010.

People I would recommend this to: fans of Twilight, anyone looking for a great romance, and any fans of the supernatural/fantasy genre