Tag Archives: Young Adult

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

 

 

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The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
308 pages
Delacorte Press, 2009
Rating: 4/5

It has been awhile since I last read a YA book that sucked me in so much that I just HAD to finish reading it. Looking back, I can’t distinguish anything particular about this book that consumed me so much. Perhaps it was the world building and the creepy factor. The characters were alright, the plot was smooth with a few little bumps, and the pacing was a little weird but workable. Zombies freak me out and they were really well written in this story. I was afraid of what was beyond the fence, but knew that the characters would have to face it at some point. There were some plot holes that I glossed over, but nothing to be annoyed about.

I think it was a pretty decent book. I went into it blind which I think is probably the best idea. Apparently this book was hyped quite a bit so it unfortunately disappointed some people. I feel that it needs to be read with an open mind.

It toyed with the concept of faith and hope quite a bit. Duty vs emotional choice was another common theme. The main character was quite selfish, so that put a contrast towards the rest of the characters and made things a little more interesting. Some parts the pacing zoomed by, and other parts it dragged on. There were times when I wished more time was spent on a particular “scene in time” but if I had my way, the book would have easily been 500 pages long (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing!).

So why 4 stars? I wanted to keep reading. It got to me emotionally. I thought about it before I slept and while I slept. It creeped me out.

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Finish 7 by Summer

 

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In my Finish 7 by Summer, I have a collection of tea, makeup, a book, and something that smells super yummy.

 

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I have a couple of teas from Davids Tea that I want to finish. The first is the “Me to We” tea which was a promotion to donate the entire cost towards the “Me to We” charity. The tea only has a little bit left in the tin, because it was that delicious. It is a fruity blend, no black tea or caffeine at all. The taste is bold and bright, like cherries and raspberries.

The other Davids Tea is the White Nectarine white tea. This one contains: Apricots, white tea, blackberry leaves, safflowers, and natural nectarine flavours. It is a very light, delicate tea that I find is amazing for unwinding in the evening. As much as I enjoy this tea, I haven’t been reaching for it, which is why I am setting a goal to actually finish it.

 

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The last tea was actually given to me by one of my coworkers. Steeped Tea is a home based company, similar to Epicure, Mary Kay, Avon, Tupperware, etc. I haven’t experienced them until I tried this tea. When I lived in Victoria, BC, there was a tea that I used to get from a locally owned and operated tea store that was a woman’s tea blend. I remember it had cinnamon and juniper in it, and since then I have missed it greatly. This one is pretty similar and is a nice tasting tea that is also medicinal. The ingredients are apple pieces, rooibos, ginger pieces, cinnamon, cardamom, fennel, juniper berries, raspberry leaves, chamomile, lady’s mantel, cloves, orange peel, St. John’s wort, black pepper, silver weed, and natural flavours.

 

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I have two makeup pallets that I want to try to get some decent wear into. The one on the left is by Quo and the one on the right is by Pacifica. The Quo pallet already has some good use for the darker colours, but I want to try to use the brighter colours this Spring. The Pacifica eyeshadows are very light on the skin, even the dark blue. They all blend together quite nicely but I find they don’t last as long as the ones from Quo. Still, it is a natural product that is made from coconuts, I believe, and so I would like to get my money’s worth.

 

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I love incense and candles. I always have something burning when I am at home. This pack of chocolate chip cookie dough incense has been hanging around my basket for quite awhile, so it is time to use it up. I love the scent but it makes me hungry so I have been avoiding it. Not anymore!

 

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My book choice is Scarlet by Marissa Meyer, the second book in the Lunar Chronicles. This one is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood and so far it is pretty good. I am on page 30 and so far so good. I’m immediately sucked into the environment and I can tell I have many good nights ahead of me.

 

That’s it for my Finish 7 by Summer post. What are yours?

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Possess by Gretchen McNeil

Possess by Gretchen McNeil
378 pages
2011, Balzer + Bray
My Rating: 4/5

Click the Cover Below to Purchase on Amazon!

Description(From Goodreads.com – shortened):

Rule #1: Do not show fear.
Rule #2: Do not show pity.
Rule #3: Do not engage.
Rule #4: Do not let your guard down.
Rule #5: They lie.

Fifteen-year-old Bridget Liu just wants to be left alone: by her mom, by the cute son of a local police sergeant, and by the eerie voices she can suddenly and inexplicably hear. Unfortunately for Bridget, it turns out the voices are demons – and Bridget has the rare ability to banish them back to whatever hell they came from.

My Review:

I really enjoyed this book. I was a bit hesitant at first because of the major Catholic themes in the book, but it all worked out. I am an atheist so I tend to roll my eyes over religious talk and I was worried that there would be a lot in this book that I didn’t care about. I was very pleased to see that there wasn’t much of a religious agenda at all and that the plot was great!

Bridget is our protagonist. She is half Chinese, which is something I haven’t seen in a protagonist before (in books, obviously), and her personality is quite spunky. She has a gay friend so I enjoyed that there were pro LGBTQ themes. The other characters were realistic and likable. I liked the variety of characters.

I was worried about romance, but I liked the direction this book took it. In particular, Bridget’s mom is involved in a love triangle that involves Bridget’s best friend’s dad. I thought that was an interesting touch because it isn’t often that we see a love triangle that involves the parents!

The plot was really well done and I think this was my favourite aspect of the book. Some bits were predictable, but there were so many layers to the story that I couldn’t help but try to anticipate what was going to happen next. The book read like a creepy mystery, and I found I especially loved the creepy scenes. There were several instances where I was creeped out and I really enjoyed that. Alongside the creepy scenes, there was a phrase that jumped out at me a few times for comic relief: “Sweet cartwheeling Jesus!”

This was a really nice read to have right before Halloween. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking to read a YA horror/paranormal story. Plus, look at that cover! It is so beautiful. 🙂

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Enclave by Ann Aguirre

Enclave by Ann Aguirre
259 Pages
Feiwel & Friends, 2011
My Rating: 4/5

 

Description (from Goodreads.com, shortened):

WELCOME TO THE APOCALYPSE

In Deuce’s world, people earn the right to a name only if they survive their first fifteen years. By that point, each unnamed ‘brat’ has trained into one of three groups–Breeders, Builders, or Hunters, identifiable by the number of scars they bear on their arms. Deuce has wanted to be a Huntress for as long as she can remember.

As a Huntress, her purpose is clear—to brave the dangerous tunnels outside the enclave and bring back meat to feed the group while evading ferocious monsters known as Freaks. She’s worked toward this goal her whole life, and nothing’s going to stop her, not even a beautiful, brooding Hunter named Fade. When the mysterious boy becomes her partner, Deuce’s troubles are just beginning.

My Review:

I didn’t know what I was getting into when I read this book, but I enjoyed it quite a bit. It reminded me of the set up of the video game, Fallout 3. Something has happened that has wiped out most of human civilization and we are left with weird mutated ‘Freaks’ that need to be killed (or they will kill you). Separate, secluded territories are all fighting for the same goal: survival. Our main character, Deuce, is a female from one of these secluded territories and she hopes to become a Huntress – someone that protects the territory by killing Freaks. It is an honorable position to have within the social structure, but there are other options such as being a Builder or Breeder. I liked the detail of how the civilization was run day-to-day, and how both the positives and negatives were highlighted.

Of course, this book boils down to survival. There are some great action scenes involving the Freaks with lots of blood, gore, and creepiness. Every survival instinct is kicked in, and luckily, the author seems to know what she is talking about.

I liked Deuce. She was a strong character, but she was also stubborn. At first, her stubbornness was a bit annoying but she was open minded enough to consider different perspectives to alter her opinions. Fade was also a great character, but I felt a bit distanced by him. He definitely has that mysterious edge to him, so I am hoping to learn more about him in the future books.

The pacing was really well done. By the halfway point, a major plot change happened which opened up far more possibilities for our characters. Just like if it were real, as soon as the characters felt like they could relax, you knew something was about to happen.

I liked that we got some answers as to how the world got to be the way it is, but we don’t get all the answers. I am hopeful that in future books we will get more answers about what happened and what will happen. Overall, I recommend this book!

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Anniversary Book Haul

I got some great books! In unrelated news: it is my 4 year anniversary with my boyfriend. Hurray!

 

Books mentioned:

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Fathomless by Jackson Pearce

Fathomless by Jackson Pearce
Fairytale Retellings #3

304 pages
2012, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
My Rating: 3.5/5

Description (from Goodreads.com)

Celia Reynolds is the youngest in a set of triplets and the one with the least valuable power. Anne can see the future, and Jane can see the present, but all Celia can see is the past. And the past seems so insignificant — until Celia meets Lo.

Lo doesn’t know who she is. Or who she was. Once a human, she is now almost entirely a creature of the sea — a nymph, an ocean girl, a mermaid — all terms too pretty for the soulless monster she knows she’s becoming. Lo clings to shreds of her former self, fighting to remember her past, even as she’s tempted to embrace her dark immortality.

When a handsome boy named Jude falls off a pier and into the ocean, Celia and Lo work together to rescue him from the waves. The two form a friendship, but soon they find themselves competing for Jude’s affection. Lo wants more than that, though. According to the ocean girls, there’s only one way for Lo to earn back her humanity. She must persuade a mortal to love her . . . and steal his soul

 

Jackson Pearce is a lovely person and author. I was really excited when I heard her 3rd book was about mermaids because that is my favourite fairytale of them all.

The book itself was just okay, in my opinion. There are some strong ideas (psychic triplet sisters & her take on mermaids) but they weren’t fully utilized. There were some links to the other books, but to a first time reader they may have seemed confusing and out of place. One of the big reveals of the book is how the mermaids became mermaids. We already know this from a previous book (Sweetly), but nothing else was really explored. There better be another book just to tie up all these loose ends. The book felt almost like a sequel – just shoving some more ideas out there and biding time until the last Big Event.

The ending was unexpected and dark, so that is plus points in my book.

What I would have liked to see:

– More story/explanation to becoming a mermaid
– More with the psychic triplets (cool idea, so expand on it more!)
– Larger book, really. I think if the story expanded by about 100 pages then lots of loose ends could have been tied up.

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The Curse of the Wendigo by Rick Yancey

 

The Curse of the Wendigo by Rick Yancey
Monstrumologist series #2

424 pages
Simon & Schuster, 2010
My Rating: 3.5/5

 

While Dr. Warthrop is attempting to disprove that Homo vampiris, the vampire, could exist, his former fiancÉe asks him to rescue her husband, who has been captured by a Wendigo—a creature that starves even as it gorges itself on human flesh. Although Dr. Warthrop considers the Wendigo to be fictitious, he relents and performs the rescue—and then sees the man transform into a Wendigo. Can the doctor and Will Henry hunt down the ultimate predator, who, like the legendary vampire, is neither living nor dead, and whose hunger for human flesh is never satisfied? This second book in The Monstrumologist series explores the line between myth and reality, love and hate, genius and madness. (source: Goodreads.com)

 

Another adventure between Dr. Warthrop and Will Henry is complete! But how did it compare to the first book?

Well, like many sequels, it fell a bit short for me but it was still an enjoyable read. Let’s break this down into categories.

1. GORE
This sequel had significantly less gore than the first book, and it felt like most of it was concentrated near the end in a final scene. I was expecting an equal amount of gore as in the first book with it being about as evenly spaced.

2. THE MONSTER
One of the things I loved about the first book was the description of the monster. It felt like it could really exist. In this book, the wendigo is a bit more loosely defined: we are left with the option of there being no monster at all, and instead perhaps a psychological or biological explanation.

3. CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT
We are introduced to Dr. Warthrop’s personal history. Much of the book is devoted to learning about his past and how it has made him the man he is today. I loved this aspect of the novel because it allowed the reader to see the doctor in a new light: he isn’t a stuck up asshole for no reason.
Will Henry also has a significant amount of character development, partially in that he becomes more comfortable with himself and his desires.

4. PACING
The first part of the book felt slow because the tone was very dreary. As the tone heightened in excitement, the events of the story started to fall into place.

5. CREEPY FACTOR
This book was less creepy than the first one. The monster wasn’t as scary and the setting offered a different kind of fear. For a portion of the book, our characters are essentially camping in the snowy wilderness of Canada while something *could* be running around in the dark waiting to kill them. That is a different type of creepy than what was offered in the first book, in that there IS something in a specific place and we are going to go check it out. The wilderness aspect added an edge of uncertainty and unpredictability.

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