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Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

Title: The Immortal Rules
Author: Julie Kagawa
ISBN: 9780373210510
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Released: April 24, 2012
Page #: 485
Series: Blood of Eden #1
Source: My public library

"Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them. The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked - and given the ultimate choice. Die... or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal; including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced the flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend - a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humand and vampires alike.

But it isn't easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what - and who - is worth dying for."
First Lines:

"They hung the Unregistereds in the old warehouse district; it was a public execution, so everyone went to see.
I stood at the back, a nameless face in the crowd, too close to the gallows for comfort but unable to look away. There were three of them this time, two boys and a girl."
Page 9

What do you get when you mix dystopian with vampire and a dash of paranormal romance? This book! I love it when genres collide.

Allison is a street rat. A scavenger. An Unregistered. She fights for her life every day. That is... until she gets caught in a situation she can't get out of. Once she's turned into a vampire, she learns all she can and then goes on the run. She meets up with an interesting group of people on the road - and meets Zeke. From there, drama ensues - especially because she cannot tell them what she is.

I love that Allison kicks so much ass. She is the only girl in her small scavenging clan... and then she fights for her life among crazed vampires. Then she takes to a sword like it was built for her - and she seems basically fearless. I really appreciated that she was able to make the hard decisions throughout the book. Particularly in the end... though it left me saying, "Nooooo!" :)

I've said this before, but to reiterate - I understand that the author has nothing to do with the cover. But it sort of bothered me that the face on the cover doesn't match the descriptions ofo Allison - namely, Asian. That's not to say it's a terrible cover - in fact, it's super creepy. And I truly put this book facedown and the spine turned away any time I wasn't reading. The face creeped me out too much.

Okay, so one word... Zeke. What a guy! He's painted as a total religious nthusiast - and a leader among the band of travlers as the adopted son of the preacher, Jeb. And his reaction to Allison swings a dangerous amount throughout the story. I'll just say that I was rooting for him as soon as he showed up in the book.

I feel like I need to thank this author for bringing back bad vampires. The whole tortured soul thing has gone too far and I love seeing them back in this light... or darkness :). They're demons and they don't apologize for that. While Allison holds on to a lot of her humanity, but she has to fight with herself to get there. Quite honestly, it's refreshing.

Those of you wishing for a creepy, wonderful vampire story will love this book. And it has that kick of romance to keep it smooth sailing. I loved (and still love) the Iron Fey series by Kagawa. And this book has proven that I will always read anything she publishes. Such a talented author and she's got another winner here. I look forward to the next one in the Blood of Eden series... next year... sigh. :)
Other Blog Reviews:

Candace's Book Blog
Endlessly Bookish
Once Upon a Time
YA Booklover Blog
Alison's Book Marks
Nice Girls Read Books
The Sweet Bookshelf
I Want to Read That
Debbie's World of Books

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (107)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Here's what I'm waiting on this week...

Tiger Lily
by Jodi Lynn Anderson
To be released: July 03, 2012

Summary from Barnes and Noble:
"Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair. . . .

Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn't believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell.

Peter is unlike anyone she's ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland's inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything—her family, her future—to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she's always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter.

With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it's the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who's everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.

From the New York Times bestselling author of Peaches comes a magical and bewitching story of the romance between a fearless heroine and the boy who wouldn't grow up."

This book was mentioned to me the other day at work. I love thinking about what Peter Pan was like before Wendy and company show up - and from Tiger Lily's perspective. What a wonderful idea! I'm definitely intrigued and excited for this one.
What are you waiting on this week?

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Out This Week (May 29-June 2)

Wonderful titles coming out this week! Check it out: 

  • 5.29.12 Dreamless (Starcrossed #2) by Josephine Angelini
  • 6.1.12 Devine Intervention by Martha Brokenbrough

  •  6.1.12 The Best Friend (Life at Kingston High #2) by Melody Carlson
  • 5.31.12 Keep Going On by Susane Colasanti
  •  5.29.12 Angel Eyes by Shannon Dittemore
  • 6.1.12 Dark Frost (Mythos Academy) by Jennifer Estep
  •  6.1.12 Girl Out Loud by Emily Gale
  • 5.29.12 Changeling (Order of Darkness #1) by Philippa Gregory
  •   5.29.12 No Safety in Numbers by Dayna Lorentz
  • 5.29.12 Darkness Before Dawn by J.A. London

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (106)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Here's what I'm waiting on this week...

Once (Eve #2)
by Anna Carey
To be released: July 3, 2012

Summary from Barnes and Noble:
"When you're being hunted, who can you trust?
For the first time since she escaped from her school many months ago, Eve can sleep soundly. She's living in Califia, a haven for women, protected from the terrifying fate that awaits orphaned girls in The New America.

But her safety came at a price: She was forced to abandon Caleb, the boy she loves, wounded and alone at the city gates. When Eve gets word that Caleb is in trouble, she sets out into the wild again to rescue him, only to be captured and brought to the City of Sand, the capital of The New America.

Trapped inside the City walls, Eve uncovers a shocking secret about her past—and is forced to confront the harsh reality of her future. When she discovers Caleb is alive, Eve attempts to flee her prison so they can be together—but the consequences could be deadly. She must make a desperate choice to save the ones she loves . . . or risk losing Caleb forever.

In this breathless sequel to Eve, Anna Carey returns to her tale of romance, adventure, and sacrifice in a world that is both wonderfully strange and chillingly familiar."

I really got into the first book, Eve. And it left me on a huge cliffhanger, so I am really excited to see how this book turns out. I can only imagine what's going to happen - considering the summary here. But I'll definitely be getting this one.

What are you waiting on this week?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Out This Week (May 20-26)

 Looks like there are some awesome things coming out this week! Check it out...

  •  5.22.12 Shift by Em Bailey
  • 5.22.12 Of Poseidon by Anna Banks
  •  5.22.12 Taken By Storm (Raised by Wolves #3) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
  • 5.22.12 The Girl in the Clockwork Collar (Steampunk Chronicles #2) by Kady Cross
  •  5.22.12 The Lost Code (The Atlanteans #1) by Kevin Emerson
  • 5.22.12 37 Things I Love (in no particular order) by Kekla Magoon
  •  5.22.12 Fated (Soul Seeker #1) by Alyson Noel
  • 5.22.12 Dark Kiss (Nightwatchers #1) by Michelle Rowen
  •  5.22.12 The Enchantress (Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel #6) by Michael Scott
  • 5.22.12 Unbreak My Heart by Melissa Walker

Friday, May 18, 2012

Famous for Thirty Seconds by P.G. Kain

Title: Famous for Thirty Seconds
Author: P.G. Kain
ISBN: 9781416997863
Publisher: Aladdin M!X
Released: March 06, 2012
Page #: 292
Source: Copy from the Author (Thanks!)

"Brittany Rush has been appearing in commercials and print ads since her backside was the official derriere of Simply Dry Diapers. When she showed up at a callback, girls would get up and go home instead of competing with her. But when her family moved to Hong Kong for a year, Brittany was forced to take an agonizing break from her commercial career.

Now she is more than ready to return to her steady diet of go-sees, auditions, callbacks, and bookings in New York City. Brittany expects the spotlight to shine on her again, but instead, she finds that she's changed from being the cute kid to watch out for to just one of the many pretty girls waiting her turn.

Will Brittany be able to steal back her spotlight? Or will she discover there's more to life than being famous for thirty seconds?"
First Lines:

"You know me.
You don't know how, but you definitely know me.
You don't know that I've studied ballet since I was six or that I once failed the same spelling quiz three times in a row, but you know me."
Page 1

Brittany could not be more different than me. We are polar opposites. There were times I really couldn't relate to her - but it's probably not her fault :).

Since she was a baby, Brittany has been in front of the camera. Posing and smiling and hitting all of her cues... all for 30 second commercial spots. Then her mother gets a year-long job opportunity in Hong Kong and Brittany must take a break from her career. When she comes back, everything is different. All of the girls look the same, sound the same, and there is a new Queen Bee in town. Brittany will do just about anything to get her old life back - even break a few hearts.

Brittany is one of those girls I would have absolutely hated in school. She expects things to just happen for her - because they always have. She's been the center of attention, the one to beat, the alpha... her whole life. And she just can't handle it when that's not true anymore. There were a few times when I just wanted to shake her and give her a reality check. And a few times, I found myself saying, "oh, here we go..." when things started to not work out for her.

But one thing I found really interesting about her personality is that she's never had much in the way of a social life. She doesn't understand how things are done. She's never had good friends - just competitors. She studies life to make sure she can get it right for her next audition. Her on-screen moms are more her speed. So it starts to make sense why she is the way she is. And it sort of made her more endearing. That and she has a fairly normal sister. I would love to read her story - how she deals with a sister who is on tv all of the time, but is able to live her life separately.

The ending really made this book for me. I love how things came around and Brittany learned what it was like to have friends and to help each other out. It gave me confidence that she can learn from the past and make changes. And it helps that there's a love interest waiting in the wings. Who can resist that?!

I think anyone who loves a cute chick lit book will love this one. It's written for middle grade, which I think is perfect. There aren't enough of these. It looks like Commercial Breaks is a series and the next one will be coming out in the summer. I may try to get my hands on that when it comes out. I'm sure it's just as fun!
Other Blog Reviews:

Justin's Book Blog
Books for YAs
Book Chic
Trifecta Book Reviews
Helen's Book Blog
A New Kind of Ordinary

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (105)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Here's what I'm waiting on this week...

Monument 14
by Emmy Laybourne
To be released: June 05, 2012

Summary from Barnes and Noble:
"Your mother hollers that you’re going to miss the bus. She can see it coming down the street. You don’t stop and hug her and tell her you love her. You don’t thank her for being a good, kind, patient mother. Of course not—you launch yourself down the stairs and make a run for the corner.

Only, if it’s the last time you’ll ever see your mother, you sort of start to wish you’d stopped and did those things. Maybe even missed the bus.
But the bus was barreling down our street, so I ran.

Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong.
In Emmy Laybourne’s action-packed debut novel, six high school kids (some popular, some not), two eighth graders (one a tech genius), and six little kids trapped together in a chain superstore build a refuge for themselves inside. While outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapons spill, seems to be tearing the world—as they know it—apart."

I love the idea that these kids get stuck in a superstore. I mean, I've always thought that might be the best possible place when something crazy happens. I think this book sounds awesome and I'm excited to read it!

What are you waiting on this week?

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Knife and the Butterfly by Ashley Hope Perez

Title: The Knife and the Butterfly
Author: Ashley Hope Perez
ISBN: 9780761361565
Publisher: carolrhoda LAB
Released: January 28, 2012
Page #: 207
Source: My Public Library

Azael Arevalo wishes he could remember how the brawl ended. He knows his MS13 boys faced off with some punks from Crazy Crew. He can picture the bats, the bricks, the chains. The knife. But he can't remember anything between that moment and when he woke behind bars.

Azael knows prison, and something isn't right about this lockup. No phone call. No lawyer. No news about his brother or his homies. The only thing they make him do is watch some white girl in some cell. Watch her and try to remember.

Lexi Allen would love to forget the brawl, would love for it to disappear back into the Xanax fog it came from. And her mother and her lawyer hope she chooses not to remember too much about the brawl - at least when it's time to testify.

Lexi knows that there's more at stake in her trial than her life alone, though. She's connected to him, and he needs the truth. The knife cut, but somehow it also connected."
First Lines:

"I'm standing inches from a wall, staring at a half-finished piece. Even though I'm too close to read what it says, I know it's my work. I run my hands over the black curves outlined in silver."
Page 1

I loved What Can't Wait by Ashley Hope Perez. Because of that, I had very high hopes for this story. And it delivered pretty well! I'm now going to start thinking of her when I need a book about the Hispanic American experience - in real terms.

Azael wakes up in jail and has no memory of what he may have done to get there. Things feel different this time and he's told that all he has to do is remember. Many days, he is put in a room to watch a girl named Lexi - in her cell, in her therapy sessions, etc. She doesn't know he's there, but he is hoping she will drop some clue as to why he's there. Azael hasn't heard from any of his crew and is worried what that might mean. And then the truth starts to unravel...

So, let me start by saying this - I'm not sure how I feel about the ending. I do think it's very powerful and well done. But I'm not sure how I feel about what the answer means. I really won't write it here - because it would change how you read the entire book. And really, it gives an entirely different vibe to the whole story once you find out what's happened. It's a bit emotional.

Perez is a fantastic writer. She has the ability to write beautiful stories while keeping them in the right voice... and the right tempo. The language and characters feel very genuine and easily imaginable. I know lots of writers try to do this - to deal with hard issues and hard lives and all that - but Perez excels at it. I will probably read just about anything she writes from now on. Bravo!

One thing I really loved about Azael was his love of art. Well, tagging, really. But art, still. After living in NY - and seeing tags just about everywhere - I have really learned to appreciate the art medium. And I am always enthralled with how well things turn out from a spray can. I'm pretty sure I'd be terrible at it. Azael spends his time coming up with new designs and such in a book before transfering them to a wall. I feel like it's something that makes him very accessible - his love of art.

If you are a reader who is concerned with content and language - this is probably not the book for you. But if you're looking for a real story that gives you a peek into the life of a gang member who has no one else to live for... definitely read this one. As I was reading this book (which is super-short, but packed), I could very easily imagine it for a book club. Well, specifically an "at risk" teen book book club. That's right, I said "at risk." :) Seriously, though. There's lots to be discussed and I think it might give some teens the chance to see the bigger picture.

I'm absolutely recommending this book. As long as you can handle the real-ness of it :). It's a powerful story that I will not soon forget.
Other Blog Reviews:

A Good Addiction
Writing YA
Sarah Laurence
Mostly Reading YA
Kate's Tales of Books and Bands
Ex Libris (interview)
The War Comes Home II

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Out This Week (May13-19)

Some amazing books coming out this week! Check it out...

  • 5.15.12 As Dead a it Gets (Bad Girls Don't Die #3) by Katie Alender
  • 5.15.12 From What I Remember... by Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas
  • 5.15.12 Gilt by Katherine Longshore
  • 5.15.12 A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix
  • 5.15.12 Immortal Hearts (Vampire Kisses #9) by Ellen Schreiber
  • 5.15.12 Brothers to the Death (The Saga of LArten Crepsley #4) by Darren Shan 

  • 5.15.12 Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
  • 5.15.12 The Watcher in the Shadows by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman

Title: The Book of Blood and Shadow
Author: Robin Wasserman
ISBN: 9780375868764
Publisher: Knopf
Released: April 10, 2012
Page #: 432
Source: My Public Library

"Nora's best friend, Chris, is dead. His girlfriend, Adriane, is catatonic. And Max, Nora's sweet, smart, soft-spoken Prince Charming, is gone. He is also - according to everyone - a murderer.

Desperate to prove his innocence, Nora follows the trail of blood, wherever it leads. It ultimately brings her to the ancient streets of Prague, where she is drawn into a dark web of secret societies and shadowy conspirators, all driven by a mad desire to possess something that might not even exist. For buried in a centuries-old manuscript is the secret to ultimate knowledge and communion with the divine. It is said that he who controls the Lumen Dei controls the world - and unbeknownst to her, Nora now holds the crucial key to unlocking its secrets. Her night of blood is just one piece in a puzzle that spans continents and centuries. Solving it may be the only way she can save her own life."
First Lines:

"I should probably start with the blood.
If it bleeds it leads and all that, right? It's all anyone ever wants to know about, anyway. What did it look like? What did it feel like? Why was it all over my hands?"
Page 3

Typically I love Robin Wasserman's books. Really, I do. But there was something about this one that I really couldn't get into. There are a few words I've found myself using when describing this book... none of them awesome: Dense. Confusing. Unbelievable (pieces of it).

So, the story is about Nora - who is a Latin scholar to the nth. She begins an independant study of translating an ancient text with two of her friends (one who becomes her boyfriend). But this text they are working on holds secrets that an ancient society in Prague wants to get their hands on. Then things start happening to them. There's a murder. There's a disappearance. There's instructions to go halfway across the world. And there's a guy following them.

This book has a very Da Vinci Code vibe. Mixed with The Historian by Kostova. With teens. There's a lot of knowledge that's thrown at you in the first few chapters. Things about Latin and text translating and the history of certain alchemists... stuff that's dense enough to sort of walk away overwhelmed. The bulk of the action and excitement in this book doesn't start, really, until you're over halfway through it. That's when the clues start coming together and things start to pick up. Unfortunately, the first half of the book is pretty bogged down with setting up characters, locations, and backtracking so you understand why things are about to happen like they do.

I know that may people loved this book - several of the reviews I've read have been wonderful. I guess I just wish the story had started at a different point. I also had a little trouble believing in some of the relationships. Nora and Max seem to be very... cautious. And she never seems so in love with him that she feels the need to go to Prague for him - even though that's what she does. It was a little like they dated for the sake of convenience... which doesn't follow for the intense-ness of the rest of the story.

I'm aware the author has nothing to do with the cover - but I really don't see how it relates to the story at all. I mean, you have the tiny reflection of a city in the eye. Otherwise? It doesn't give me any clues to the nature of the story. And it's a little creepy. I kept a post-it over the face when I had the book sitting out.

It's difficult to recommend a book that I had a really hard time getting into. But I do think that someone who has a real interest in foreign languages and alchemical history will think this book is amazing. Maybe it was just too much for me. I will continue to look into books by this author - because I loved her previous stuff. So... onward and upward! :)
Other Blog Reviews:

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (104)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Here's what I'm waiting on this week...

The Legacy of Tril: Soulbound
By: Heather Brewer
To be released: June 19, 2012

Summary from Barnes and Noble:

"Tril is a world where Barrons and Healers are Bound to each other: Barrons fight and Healers cure their Barrons' wounds in the ongoing war with the evil Graplar King. Seventeen-year-old Kaya was born a Healer, but she wants to fight. In Tril, and at Shadow Academy, where she is sent to learn to heal, it is against Protocol for Healers to fight. So Kaya must learn in secret. Enter two young men: One charming, rule-following Barron who becomes Bound to Kaya and whose life she must protect at all costs. And one with a mysterious past who seems bent on making Kaya's life as difficult as possible. Kaya asks both to train her, but only one will, and the consequences will change their lives forever.
Heather Brewer has created a thrilling, action-packed, and romantic first installment of the Legacy of Tril series, where one strong heroine must break the rules to claim her destiny and her heart."

Doesn't this book sound amazing?! I know that Heather Brewer is a wonderful author - loved the Vladimir Tod stuff... so I know this story will be just as awesome (or more!). I always get excited about kick ass girl characters. Throw in a little romance? I'm in. This one sounds right up my alley.

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

Title: I Hunt Killers
Author: Barry Lyga
ISBN: 9780316125840
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Released: April 3, 2012
Page #: 361
Source: My public library

"It was a beautiful day.
It was a beautiful field.
Except for the body.

Jazz is a likable teenager. A charmer, some might say.

But he's also the son of the world's most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, 'Take Your Son to Work Day' was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could - from the criminal's point of view.

And now, even though Dad has been in jail for years, bodies are piling up in the sleepy town of Lobo's Nod. Again.

In an effort to prove murder doesn't run in the family, Jazz joins the police in the hunt for this new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret - could he be more like his father than anyone knows?
First Lines:

"By the time Jazz got to the field outside town, yellow police tape was everywhere, strung from stake to stake in a sort of drunken, off-kilter hexagon."
Page 3

This book was waaaayyy more than I was bargaining for. It was creepy. It was hilarious. It was sad. It was freaky. It was intense. And so much more. I was not prepared, I will say that.

Jazz is the son of a serial killer. His father spent his days teaching his son about the trade. Giving him pointers, helping him get started, etc. But now that his dad is behind bars, Jazz is trying to figure out who he is and what kind of person he's going to be. He fights the instinct to think of everyone as a prospect - a victim. Luckily, he has a couple of good friends who are able to talk him through things. Now that more murders are happening in their small town, Jazz feels like he needs to solve them because he has insider info. Well, that and it keeps the police from thinking he's following in his father's footsteps.

Serial killers are fascinating. That's just a fact. People write whole biographies on them just because it's interesting to see how their minds work - how they see the world. I cannot imagine what it would be like to have one for a parent. I guess that's why this book is so crazy. A teenage boy worrying more about whether he has the genes to kill - instead of thinking about parties, homework, and girls (to an extent and not in that order).

While this book has the potential to be the heaviest book ever - it's got some series comedy. Howie, Jazz's best friend... who is a hemophiliac... completely balances out the story. He's spent his life tiptoe-ing around and has learned that humor is the best medicine. I pretty much loved all of his quips and his attitude and his outlook on life. I'm pretty sure Howie was my favorite character. There's also Jazz's girlfriend, Connie. He's started to tell her all of his thoughts and worries and dreams and fears - and she still stands beside him. I think that's amazing... I can only imagine how many other girls would take it.

This story is also a mystery - there have been murders starting again in their small town and Jazz is out to catch the killer. He's got the skills, the knowledge, and the drive to find out what's happening. Even if it puts him and his friends in harms way. Oh! And his grandmother! I can't believe I forgot... she was hilarious! Well, unintentionally. She's basically senile. And Jazz lives with her. There's the dynamic of her having a serial killer son - and then totally losing reality altogether. But there are some amazing things that come out of her mouth. So watch out! :)

I will say that this book is super gory and a bit explicit. We're talking, very specific descriptions of murder scenes... or things from Jazz's memory. It was a little more than I was anticipating, but it really makes the story that much more edgy and believable. But be aware! Not for the faint of heart! Or the faint at the thought of blood-ers. Lyga is good at taking difficult subjects and turning them into heartfelt stories. Definitely something I admire.

If you're into real life horror stories, then definitely give this book a shot. It's probably one of those niche books. Not everyone is going to love it - but it's so well written that they just might! I'll definitely recommend it on to those readers who love a good mystery or scary story. Though, probably high school only. Wouldn't wanna scare the kiddies :). Seriously, I had trouble reading this book at nighttime. My imagination is way too good sometimes! So yeah, read with caution!
Other Blog Reviews:

Death Books and Tea
Tales of the Ravenous Reader
Anette's Book Spot
Once Upon a Twilight!
The Fake Steph Dot Com
Emilie's Book World
Brittany the Book Slayer
Xpresso Reads
Katie's Book Blog
Lovely Treez Reads

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

Title: The Name of the Star
Author: Maureen Johnson
ISBN: 9781455823499
Publisher: Penguin and Brilliance Audio
Released: September 29, 2011
Page #: 10 Hour Audio
Source: My public library

Summary:"The day Louisiana teenager Rory Devaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city - gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific work of Jack the Ripper in the autumn of 1888.

Soon 'Rippermania' takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses, except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, what is he planning to do about her?

In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities."
First Lines:

"The eyes of London were watching Claire Jenkins.
She didn't notice them, of course. No one paid attention to the cameras. It was an accepted fact that London has one of the most extensive CCTV systems in the world."
Page 1

As always, I am a huge fan of anything Maureen Johnson writes. I haven't found anything bad yet! And this book was no exception. Honestly, I wasn't sure what to expect - but I got way more than I could have hoped for.

Rory is from a small town near New Orleans - and her parents are moving to England. So she decides to attend a boarding school smack in the middle of London. Except, these murders start happening and everyone goes into panic mode. They're just like Jack the Ripper and no one has any leads... until Rory comes face to face with a possible suspect. Only... no one else can see him. She gets thrown into a whirlwind of ghostly possibilities and finds out way more about herself than you can iamgine.

You know, I spent a semester at an English University - and there was a lot description that reminded me of that... the dorms, the school, the city in general. The authors descriptions were spot-on and really made me feel like I was back there. And can you imagine being able to see ghosts in one of the oldest cities in the world? I feel like I'd assume everyone was one until notified otherwise :). But this book transported me back there and made me wish for a visit!

I didn't really know much about Jack the Ripper before I listened to this book. It's not a topic I've spent much time thinking about. I know that some people are super fascinated with the whole idea of him, but I guess I just missed it. But after this book, I kind of can't help but do a little research. And while the story follows the Ripper timeline, I thought it was cool how the story bloomed into something modern and newly spooky.

One note about the audio - I'm not sure how I felt about the reader. I just looked around online and that she is British... which helps me make sense of some of the accents. Our main character is from Louisiana. There is something very specific about LA accents - a French twist on Southern, I guess. But the way she was read didn't have that. Of course, all of the British accents were good - and it was generally read in a good American accent. It was the voice of Rory that didn't always work for me. The rest of the accents were well done - and there were a lot of them.

So, in all honesty, it took me a while to get to this book... and I think it's because of the cover. It's a good cover, really. But it speaks more to historical fiction rather than what it really is. I think that might deter some readers, but I would suggest that you ignore it! And read the book anyway. It's a really fun story and has the humor and romance I've come to expect with MJ's books. I'm hoping this might be a series in the making, but we'll see!
Other Blog Reviews:

The Book Smugglers
Becky's Book Reviws
Turn the Page
Reading Vacation
Sam Downing
Quirky Girls Read
365 Days of Reading
Confessions of a Vi3tBabe

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