Marked - P.C. & Kristin Cast

Wednesday, October 28, 2009
 The House of Night series is set in a world very much like our own, except in 16-year-old Zoey Redbird's world, vampyres have always existed.  In this first book in the series, Zoey enters the House of Night, a school where, after having undergone the Change, she will train to become an adult vampire--that is, if she makes it through the Change.  Not all of those who are chosen do.  It’s tough to begin a new life, away from her parents and friends, and on top of that, Zoey finds she is no average fledgling.  She has been Marked as special by the vampyre Goddess, Nyx.  But she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers.  When she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school's most elite club, is misusing her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny--with a little help from her new vampyre friends.

I really enjoyed this book. There was a lot of dark humor and completely lovable characters. This is a world where vampires were not unknown and teenagers get marked with a sign they are to be changed into one. They go to a school called House of Night and either reject the change or accept it. Fascinating and I love it was written by a mother daughter team!


Betrayed - P.C. and Kristin Cast

Fledgling vampyre Zoey Redbird has managed to settle in at the House of Night.  She’s come to terms with the vast powers the vampyre goddess, Nyx, has given her, and is getting a handle on being the new Leader of the Dark Daughters. Best of all, Zoey finally feels like she belongs--like she really fits in. She actually has a boyfriend…or two. Then the unthinkable happens: Human teenagers are being killed, and all the evidence points to the House of Night. While danger stalks the humans from Zoey’s old life, she begins to realize that the very powers that make her so unique might also threaten those she loves. Then, when she needs her new friends the most, death strikes the House of Night, and Zoey must find the courage to face a betrayal that could break her heart, her soul, and jeopardize the very fabric of her world.

Here we have the second book in the House of Night series! This one is my favorite, because I saw the most character development and I loved that Damien found a little friend - how adorable was that? I did find Zoey to be a bit annoying in this book, but I love the side characters so much that it didn't matter to me.

There were many twists in this one that I wasn't expecting and that was a pleasant change. Sometimes paranormal books can be screaming the ending from the beginning but I thought P.C. and Kristin did a good job of keeping the reader in suspense. The end was such a cliffhanger! I am so glad I have the next book in line because I'd be dying if I had to wait to see what happens next.


The Sweet Far Thing - Libba Bray

Tuesday, October 13, 2009
It has been a year of change since Gemma Doyle arrived at the foreboding Spence Academy. Her mother murdered, her father a laudanum addict, Gemma has relied on an unsuspected strength and has discovered an ability to travel to an enchanted world called the realms, where dark magic runs wild. Despite certain peril, Gemma has bound the magic to herself and forged unlikely new alliances. Now, as Gemma approaches her London debut, the time has come to test these bonds.

The Order - the mysterious group her mother was once part of - is grappling for control of the realms, as is the Rakshana. Spence's burned East Wing is being rebuilt, but why now? Gemma and her friends see Pippa, but she is not the same. And their friendship faces its gravest trial as Gemma must decide once and for all what role she is meant for.

The last of the series! I don't know to be happy or sad that it's over. This was also a very good read - Libba Bray didn't leave an ending that is a fairytale and everything works out in the end, I was truly sad when I read the ending. I wasn't expecting it but I still loved it so much. There is nonstop energy and action, coupled with the wonderful love triangle between Kartik and Simon. I was constantly turning the pages and wondering what would happen next. You learn a lot more about the characters in this last book and I think Libba finished it beautifully!


Hold Tight - Harlan Coben

 Tia and Mike Baye never imagined they’d become the type of overprotective parents who spy on their kids. But their sixteen-year-old son Adam has been unusually distant lately, and after the suicide of his classmate Spencer Hill—the latest in a string of issues at school—they can’t help but worry. They install a sophisticated spy program on Adam’s computer, and within days are jolted by a message from an unknown correspondent addressed to their son: “Just stay quiet and all safe.”

Meanwhile, browsing through an online memorial for Spencer put together by his classmates, Betsy Hill is struck by a photo that appears to have been taken on the night of her son’s death . . . and he wasn’t alone. She thinks it is Adam Baye standing just outside the camera’s range; but when Adam goes missing, it soon becomes clear that something deep and sinister has infected their community. For Tia and Mike Baye, the question they must answer is this: When it comes to your kids, is it possible to know too much?

All I can say about this book is wow. Coben certainly knows how to draw you in from the first chapter! This book has so many different elements that it's hard to even describe it in a review. There was a boy that committed suicide and his best friend Adam becomes withdrawn and strange. So his parents install a spy program on his computer and find out some serious things and he ends up missing. Meanwhile there is a crazy man on the loose murdering women. I promise that most of it is related, hah. I really loved it and finished it in two days. I seriously couldn't put it down. I've added his other novels to my list of must reads!


Looking For Alaska - John Green

Saturday, October 10, 2009
Before. Miles "Pudge" Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole life has been one big non-event, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave "the Great Perhaps" even more (Francois Rabelais, poet). He heads off to the sometimes crazy and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young. She is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart. Then . . . After. Nothing is ever the same.
I loved this 'kindasorta' love story.

So many of my favorite quotes are from this novel. I wish I could quote the whole thing! John Green has created such endearing characters that tug at your heartstrings and make you root for them in anything they do. Pudge made me want to go out and find my own 'great perhaps'.

Alaska is one of my all-time favorite female characters. She's so strong and beautiful on the inside out and I love how she doesn't take anything from anyone. When I found out she was a book lover, I was sold! ;)


Center of Everything by Laura Moriarty

Growing up with a single mother who is chronically out of work and dating a married man, 10-year old Evelyn Bucknow learns early how to fend for herself. Offering an affecting portrayal of a troubled mother/daughter relationship, one in which the daughter is very often expected to play the role of the adult, the novel also gives readers a searing rendering of the claustrophobia of small town midwestern life, as seen through the eyes of a teenage girl.

I read this book when I was still in HS and enjoyed it, I found it at the store on a limb and wanted to reread it. It was just as enchanting and wonderful as the first time. It's a story about Evelyn and her mother Tina and their battles with life and it's one of the best coming of age books I've read. The characters are so honest and real - you could see a bit of yourself in them at any given time. It made me cry, made me laugh...really a wonderful read!


Running with Scissors - Augusten Borroughs

Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Running with Scissors is the true story of a boy whose mother (a poet with delusions of Anne Sexton) gave him away to be raised by her psychiatrist, a dead ringer for Santa and a lunatic in the bargain. Suddenly, at age twelve, Augusten Burroughs found himself living in a dilapidated Victorian in perfect squalor. The doctor's bizarre family, a few patients, and a pedophile living in the backyard shed completed the tableau. Here, there were no rules; there was no school. The Christmas tree stayed up until summer, and Valium was eaten like Pez. And when things got dull, there was always the vintage electroshock-therapy machine under the stairs...

I really enjoyed this one, it was a slow read at first so it was harder to get into but once it hit the 50th or so page, it was very funny and quite enjoyable. It's a memoir and Augusten's parents are toxic towards one another. His father is a distant alcoholic and his mother is a crazy writer who is very self-absorbed. The parents get a divorce and his mother starts seeing a therapist, Dr. Finch. His mother seems incapable of caring for Augusten so she sends him to live with the therapist. Dr Finch is very strange and morbid, as are his wife and children. Their house is always in disarray and there's always something wrong. A pedophile falls in love with him, the doctor thinks his turds foresee the future, and their Christmas tree stays up virtually all year long. It was really funny and enjoyable, I recommend it!