Bout of Books Read-A-Thon 8.0: Day 5

Monday 8/19:

Books Read: The Poison Eaters and Other Stories-Holly Black; The Girl with the Mermaid Hair-Delia Ephron

Number of Pages Read:

The Poison Eaters (212) + the first half of The Girl with the Mermaid Hair (156) =368 pages total

Tuesday 8/20:

Books Read: The Girl with the Mermaid Hair-Delia Ephron; Crash-Nicole Williams

Number of Pages Read:

The last half of The Girl with the Mermaid Hair (156) + Crash (215)= 371 pages total

Wednesday 8/21

Books Read: The Name of the Star-Maureen Johnson

Number of Pages Read:

The Name of the Star= 370 pages total

Thursday 8/22

Books Read: Fracture-Megan Miranda; Ink-Amanda Sun

Number of Pages Read:

Fracture (262) + the first half of Ink (163) = 425 pages total

Friday 8/23

Books Read: Ink-Amanda Sun; Breathless-Scott Prussing

Number of Pages Read:

The second half of Ink (163) + Breathless (254) = 417 pages total

Number of Books Completed:

7/10

Number of Pages Read So Far:

M(368)+ T(371)+ W(370)+ R(425)+ F(417)= 1951 pages total

Reviews:

Poison Eaters Review

The Girl with the Mermaid Hair Review

Crash Review

The Name of the Star Review

Other reviews pending.

Keep reading fellow book-a-thoners!

-BB

Review: Fracture-Megan Miranda

3/5 Stars

Fracture (Fracture, #1)-Megan Miranda 

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And as I drove, I felt random pulls. Faintly left. Faintly right. Behind. Ahead. I couldn’t escape it. Death was everywhere. It was creeping around the outskirts of my world, like it was searching for me. Like it knew I had escaped and was trying to reclaim me. 

Plot: Delaney Maxwell shouldn’t be alive. After spending 11 minutes beneath the ice, in a freezing Maine lake, not only did her heart completely stop but her brain ceased all ability to function. After several days in a coma, it’s a miracle that Delaney was able to be resuscitated at all, and everyone is shocked when she wakes from her coma with seemingly no permanent damage. Delaney’s brain scans come back abnormal, with large blots and squiggly lines. The doctor is astounded that Delaney doesn’t show signs of the permanent brain damage on the cat scans.  All Delaney wants is for her life to go back to normal, to not be looked at like she’s the headliner at a freak show, the girl who died and came back. People treat her differently, like she’s a trophy and she owes them for saving her life, they want to be worshiped as heroes. All Delaney wants is to forget it ever happened but no one will let her. As if this isn’t bad enough, Delaney’s best friend Decker, who pulled her from the lake and performed the CPR that may have saved her life, is pulling away from her. Things are awkward and she feels more alone than ever. Then something happens that causes Delaney to question her sanity and her health. She begins feeling puling sensations that refuse to quit, making her hands spasm as she’s pulled to wherever the feelings are leading her. Turns out Delaney is able to sense death and the pull leads her to those whose time is very close. Delaney is terrified and conflicted, she wants to be able to warn these people without sounding crazy but recognizes that that’s impossible. One day, while catching up on her studies at the library, Delaney is approached by a very attractive guy (Troy) who she later comes to find out has the same creepy ability. This is a story of learning how to live after dying, of reclaiming yourself, discovering new elements of your personality, overcoming hard choices to strengthen yourself as person, and about finding love.

***Megan Miranda books are kind of like Tolstoy. Now before you guys go crazy or get confused, I’ve always been of the opinion that which Tolstoy masterpiece you like best will always be the one you read first. I know this is practically sacrilegious for a Russian major but it’s true. I read Anna Karenina before I read War and Peace, of course I like Anna better. Not because of the romance or the tragedy but because the books are so similar that it’s usually the story that you heard first. So far, I’ve read two Megan Miranda books and many people prefer Fracture to Hysteria but because I read Hysteria first I’m more partial to that story no matter how similar the style and semi-supernatural elements. 

PROS:

  • The concept of people forming special abilities after suffering from near death experiences is really interesting and something that should be explored further in YA. Seeing ghosts, being able to channel the dead, or even sensing when death is coming is fascinating and something really cool to think about, how a brush with death leaves its mark on those who survive.
  • Troy is sexy, dark, mysterious, and supremely angry to the point of being scary. He’s the kind of twisted, jaded guy with a tragic past that will consume your thoughts and have you questioning his motives.
  • Decker is compassionate, loving, and heroic. He’s the kind of warm, caring, sweetheart of a guy who wants to protect you and hold your hand. He’s adorably dorky without being weird and introverted. ❤
  • The end of the story was a twist that was so unexpected I was caught off guard.

CONS:

  • Delaney is jealous, she’s awkward, she over thinks things and comes to conclusions about people that blow up in her face. As a protagonist she’s fragile and insecure. She doesn’t know how to interact in social situations and has major mood swings. The only semi-redeeming element of her character is that by the end of the story she grows into a stronger, my confident person, who is able to take action, and make choices that she would have avoided earlier in the plot.
  • The plot is shaky, has a scattered, fragmented feeling that isn’t really well put together.

If you liked any of the following, check this out: 

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Happy reading,

-BB

Review: The Name of the Star-Maureen Johnson

3/5 Stars

The Name of the Star (Shades of London, #1)-Maureen Johnson

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“Fear can’t hurt you,” she said. “When it washes over you, give it no power. It’s a snake with no venom. Remember that. That knowledge can save you.”

Plot: Aurora (Rory) Deveaux is from a small town in Louisiana, where spirituality and stories of ghosts are not uncommon.  When Rory moves to London to start her new life at boarding school, she’s exhilarated to be on her own, to build a new future in a foreign country, where no one knows that she has an aunt who is an angel channeller, an uncle who has 8 freezers sharing a room packed with survival food, and that she lived on a swamp. Rory’s arrives in London just in time for mass hysteria to break out. It appears as though a new Ripper is scavenging the streets of London, hunting for victims that match the details of notorious Jack the Ripper murders. He strikes on the same day, finds victims with the same last names, and leaves them in nearly identical locations as the Ripper victims, and with the same gruesome, mutilated carnage as the famed serial killer. As Rory adjusts to dorm life, her new roommate Jazza, British colloquialisms, and to making new friends, the whir of the television, the whispered musings of her peers, and the upped police forces are everywhere. Though a killer with surgical precision, and presumably an expert on Ripper knowledge, the most fascinating, irksome, and mind-boggling aspect of the killer is that there is no evidence, apart from the brutalized bodies. The cameras that monitor almost every street corner in London capture nothing, it’s as if the murder never happened. This failure of technology causes a mass crisis. As the murders escalate, everyone waits, knowing the exact time and date the murder will take place. People stare at the TV anxious for news. Curfews are strictly enforced, Ripper parties are the new fashion, and Ripper tours have reached an all time high. “Rippermania” has taken over and destroyed any sense of normalcy as everyone lives in fear that they could be next. Meanwhile, Rory and Jazza get a new roommate named Boo, a funky Indian girl with obnoxious habits. Rory and Jazza struggle to find a balance between living a typical boarding school life, crushing on boys, and getting prepped for their A levels and so when Jerome (Rory’s crush) asks them to sneak out to the boys dorm to watch for the Ripper from the roof, they’re willing to risk it. On their way back from the boys dorm, after waiting for the murder to happen and the time slot passing, the girls dart from tree to tree and across the deserted campus to climb through a loose window. About to be scot-free, Rory is startled by a man is a poorly fitted suit, a man with cold, crazed eyes. Rory is terrified and is grateful when Jazza urges her through the window. Rory tries to talk to Jazza about the man but Jazza didn’t see him, even though he was right in front of her. The next day, a body is found close to where Rory and Jazza crossed to get back to their dorm. As the only possible witness to the new Ripper, Rory must work with the police to find him. What Rory uncovers with the help of a top-secret force known as the Shades of London, is enough to turn her world upside down. Will Rory be able to find the Ripper before he strikes again? Or will Rory be the next girl on the killer’s hit list?

PROS:

  • The Shades of London, much like Scully and Mulder of the X-Files, are a group of government agents that work to solve unexplained, in this case, ghostly paranormal cases. The Shades of London are a really cool idea, they consist of young people, typically in their early 20’s who have had near death experiences in their late teens and who can now see ghosts. They’re found in mental institutions, and  in news papers where any strange sightings are reported but not confirmed. What’s great about them is that they’re just your average 20 somethings hanging out and having a good time with a wicked side job.
  • The story will drag you in not only because of the mystery but because of the characters. They’re cultured, astoundingly unique people with hilarious stories, interesting quirks, and wonderfully written chemistry. The ghosts are some of the most developed, powerful beings in the book. They’re each different with their own background stories that enrich their presence and give them a haunting, yet oddly humanlike quality, like they are just another person to talk to who happens to be dead. They still like music, poetry, watching TV, and relaxing but have no sense of time.
  • There are several creepy, horrifying moments that might just have you turning on all the lights in the house. Eerie feelings of being watched, of shadowed alleyways, of chilling sounds that will have you on the edge of your seat.
  • Rory is that girl that everyone envies for her awesome stories. Her Louisiana small town life is laugh out loud funny, it’s weird, and unbelievably creative. You’ll love her for her past and her bravery.

CONS:

  • The weaponry used by the Shades is laughable and completely ridiculous. I don’t know whether it’s really ingenious or something so stupid it just might be perfect.
  • The Ripper murders are not as graphically detailed as I would’ve liked, they’re more telling than showing.
  • Seriously lacking in the romance department. While there is a flirtatious, budding relationship there’s no conflict to keep you hooked.

If you liked any of the following, you’d probably enjoy this:

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Pleasant reading,

-BB