Friday, February 25, 2011

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why
By: Jay Asher
Source: Bought E-book
Released: October 18, 2007
Purchase the Book: Amazon

"Jay Asher's brilliant first novel is a moving, highly original story that focuses on a set of audiotapes made by a girl before she committed suicide, and which explain to 13 people the reasons why she decided to end her life. Told in a highly effective duel narrative -- alternating between the girl s voice and the thoughts of a boy who is listening -- this honest, poignant story reveals how other people's actions shape, and by extension can ruin, an individual's faith in people. Intensely powerful and painfully real, Thirteen Reasons Why reveals how brutal high school can be, the consequences of spreading rumors, and the lasting effects of suicide on those left behind." (summary from goodreads.com)
"I guess that's the point of it all. No one knows for certain how much impact they have on the lives of other people. Oftentimes, we have no clue. Yet we push it just the same."


Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why is the brutally honest story of Clay, who receives a package of audiotapes from his crush, Hannah who recently committed suicide. Hannah leaves behind thirteen tapes which tell of the thirteen people who all played a part in the reason behind why she ultimately decided to kill herself. Clay listens to each tape and awaits to not only hear what his part was in her choice, but he also learns more about Hannah and many secrets about his fellow classmates. 

I decided to read Thirteen Reasons Why after seeing that it will be adapted into a film in the near future and I am glad I read it because it provides a powerful message. This is one of those books that when you finish you think about it for days after. The plot flows smoothly with each page and the point of view switches back and forth constantly between Clay and Hannah, which helps provide a deeper perspective into the lasting effects of suicide. Hannah's story also teaches about how a single person can have an effect on another without even being aware of it. I strongly recommend that everyone read this book.

My Rating:

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting

Desires of the Dead
By: Kimberly Derting
Source: Bought E-book
Released: February 15, 2011
Purchase the Book: Amazon

"Violet can sense the echoes of those who've been murdered—and the matching imprint that clings to their killers. Only those closest to her know what she is capable of, but when she discovers the body of a young boy she also draws the attention of the FBI, threatening her entire way of life. As Violet works to keep her morbid ability a secret, she unwittingly becomes the object of a dangerous obsession. Normally she'd turn to her best friend, Jay, except now that they are officially a couple, the rules of their relationship seem to have changed. And with Jay spending more and more time with his new friend Mike, Violet is left with too much time on her hands as she wonders where things went wrong. But when she fills the void by digging into Mike's tragic family history, she stumbles upon a dark truth that could put everyone in danger." (summary from kimberlyderting.com)

Kimberly Derting's Desires of the Dead is the exciting and surprising sequel to The Body Finder. Violet, who can sense the echoes of the dead, finds herself using her unique ability once again when she catches the attention of the FBI after discovering the body of a young boy. The FBI is interested in using Violet's gift, but she has kept this part of her life a secret for so long.  Aside from all of the problems Violet is facing, she is unknowingly being watched by someone with a dark obsession. 

Violet and Jay's relationship goes through many ups and downs throughout the book. They were first best friends who could tell one another anything, but as their relationship grows and changes, Violet is finding it difficult to trust and open up to him. Jay is also spending much of his time with the new kid, Mike, and Violet finds herself competing for his attention. Both Violet and Jay have many flaws, but this is what makes their characters and relationship realistic.

Desires of the Dead is as dark and suspenseful as The Body Finder. Derting once again creates a mystery for the reader to solve alongside Violet. The writing flows easily from one page to the next and several chapters are told from the perspective of a mysterious character obsessed with Violet. New and interesting characters are introduced, and I personally am intrigued to read more about Rafe. Characters from The Body Finder also return, such as Violet's hilarious friend, Chelsea. I could not put this book down once I started it and completely devoured it in one day. The ending leaves the story open for many possibilities. Desires of the Dead will not disappoint and I can not recommend this book enough.  

My Rating:

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann

Cryer's Cross
By: Lisa McMann
Source: Bought
Released: February 8, 2011
Purchase the Book: Amazon

"The small town of Cryer’s Cross is rocked by tragedy when an unassuming freshman disappears without a trace. Kendall Fletcher wasn’t that friendly with the missing girl, but the angst wreaks havoc on her OCD-addled brain. When a second student goes missing - someone close to Kendall’s heart - the community is in an uproar. Caught in a downward spiral of fear and  anxiety, Kendall’s not sure she can hold it together. When she starts hearing the voices of the missing, calling out to her and pleading for help, she fears she’s losing her grip on reality. But when she finds messages scratched in a desk at school - messages that could only be from the missing student who used to sit there - Kendall decides that crazy or not, she’d never forgive herself if she didn’t act on her suspicions." (Summary from lisamcmann.com)

Lisa McMann's Cryer's Cross is the chilling story of the small town of Cryer's Cross, where two teenagers mysteriously disappear. Kendall, who is living with OCD, is experiencing much anxiety over these disappearances, especially since one of the missing teens was very close to her. While at school, Kendall discovers messages on the desk of the missing students and fears that she may be going crazy, but she can't let this go and dives into the mystery of Cryer's Cross. Aside from the disappearances, two new teenagers have moved into town and Kendall realizes that the town she has grown up in is not as quiet and safe as she once believed.

Cryer's Cross is a thrilling story you will find hard to put down. Kendall is a tough female protagonist, especially since she is the only girl in her grade and has grown up surrounded by the boys. However, Kendall is also compassionate and loyal to her friends and values their loyalty in return. McMann does a great job addressing OCD, I personally have lived with OCD for years and I could relate to what Kendall experiences day to day. I thoroughly enjoyed Cryer's Cross, the plot flowed right to the end and each character is interesting in their own way.

My Rating:

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Delirium
By: Lauren Oliver
Source: Bought E-book
Released: February 1, 2011
Purchase the Book: Amazon

"Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn't understand that once love--the deliria--blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Haloway has always looked forward to the day when she'll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy. But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: she falls in love." (Summary from laurenoliverbooks.com)

Lauren Oliver's Delirium is a captivating story set in a dystopian society where love is treated as a disease that needs a cure. At the age of eighteen, each citizen receives a cure and a match who they will marry and live a happy and safe life with. On the surface this society seems perfect and happy, but in reality they are taking away a persons emotions. Lena is anxiously awaiting the day of her cure because she wants a life without pain, especially after what happened to her parents. She is desperate to hold on to the memory of her mother, but she also wants to escape the pain she has been left with for years and finally feel normal. Lena's best friend, Hanna, speaks her mind occasionally which always makes Lena nervous. Lena follows all of the rules that society has set for her and is content in her protected and predictable life until she meets Alex. She soon finds herself breaking all the rules and falling in love. Together, Lena and Alex uncover many of the secrets to the not so perfect society.

Delirium is a terrifyingly creative story that will leave you thinking about it for days after you finish reading. Oliver creates a beautiful love story with realistic characters that you grow an attachment too. Lena changes slowly over the course of the book, but from the beginning it is clear she has it in her to become rebellious. The steady paced plot will break your heart one moment and infuriate you the next. Seeing the difference between characters, such as Lena and Hanna, compared to those who have already been cured is chilling and you see just how much of their life is taken from them. I strongly recommend that you read Delirium, you will not be disappointed and you may just find it changing your whole outlook on love.

My Rating:

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

Nightshade
By: Andrea Cremer
Source: Bought E-book
Released: October 19, 2010
Purchase the Book: Amazon
"While other teenage girls daydream about boys, Calla Tor imagines ripping out her enemies’ throats. And she wouldn’t have it any other way. Calla was born a warrior and on her eighteenth-birthday she’ll become the alpha female of the next generation of Guardian wolves. But Calla’s predestined path veers off course the moment she saves the life of a wayward hiker, a boy her own age. This human boy’s secret will turn the young pack's world upside down and forever alter the outcome of the centuries-old Witches' War that surrounds them all." (Summary from andreacremer.com)

Andrea Cremer's Nightshade is the story of Calla, the alpha of a pack of Guardian wolves. Calla is a strong female leader who is loyal to her pack, the Nightshades. Calla and her pack protect a group called the Keepers, who in turn take care of the wolves and their families. As the story progresses, Calla learns that the Guardian wolves are not treated as fairly as she once believed and that they have not been told the whole truth about their history.

On Calla's eighteenth birthday, she is arranged to marry Ren, the tough and strong alpha of the Bane pack. It is clear that Ren cares greatly for Calla, but as a result of his alpha wolf nature, he is overprotective and controlling. Calla also meets Shay, a human boy who she saves from getting killed. Shay is rebellious and teaches Calla to question her loyalty to the Keepers.  

Nightshade is a creative and thrilling story with a fierce and strong female protagonist who develops greatly with each chapter. Calla is forbidden to act on the feelings that she finds herself developing for both Ren and Shay, but this results in her only desiring her freedom and individuality more. Cremer's writing is addictive and captures the readers attention from the first page. The surprises and cliffhanger in the last few chapters left me craving for more.

My Rating: