[Kindle Deals] Sweet Blood of Mine (Overworld Chronicles Book 1)

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Yet another free eBook for y’all!

Get it while it’s hot!

This one is the first book in a Paranormal YA series, with (so I’ve heard) lots of wit, funny moments, action, romance, and mystery!

Come ‘n get it!


Description

FROM MEGA-NERD TO SUPER-STUD

Justin Slade and women don’t mix, but when he discovers he has the ability to seduce any woman he wants, high school suddenly gets a lot more interesting.

But there’s a lot more to the supernatural world than he realizes and what he doesn’t know can most certainly kill him in more gruesome ways than he can count.

[Book Review] The Moth In The Mirror (Splintered, Book 1.5)

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The Moth In The Mirror

(Splintered, Book 1.5)

A.G. Howard

What rating would you give it?
5++++++++++++++ of 5 Stars

What did you think of the book?

“I’m starting with the man in the mirror!
I’m askin’ him to chaaange his ways
No message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself and make a… CHANGE!”

Man In The Mirror by Michael Jackson

Oh yeah, baby. You know you wanna rock out to a little MJ while reading this book. Certainly wanna burst into song seeing the title. XD I know I did (and still do!) XD

The Moth In The Mirror is an insert novella taking place between Books 1 and 2 of the Splintered series by the lovely A.G.Howard. It follows Morpheus – our favourite, unpredictable Netherling – as he shifts through the lost memories of a certain human knight (Jeb) and re-evaluates his plan to win over Alyssa and get rid of the competition. As the title and the song suggests – our moth must look at himself and decide to either make the necessary changes to tilt the scales in his favour or continue on his current path with a gaping hole in his chest that only Alyssa can fill.

As far as the story goes, readers will definitely need to read the books in order, if they want to understand and fully grasp the implications and motivations of the characters in this novella, and all the books to follow.

Cover is GORGEOUS. But then again, so are ALL of the covers in this series. I mean, have you seen them?

Splintered Series Final covers

But back to my review. What I loved most about this read was how obviously the events in it effect and change Morpheus in Unhinged (book 2 of the series) and how Morpheus worked to incorporate himself into Alyssa’s (and Jeb’s lol) world.

I feel for him, man. I am laying down every card and praying to every deity and cosmic power out there that Alyssa chooses and ends up with him. There is something about his character that is so compelling and genuine even in its twisted, manipulative Netherling way that matches so perfectly with Alyssa… If she would only open her eyes to see.

P.S. – (SPOILER) And from what I’m gathering of the final book’s title “Ensnared,” my prayers may just be answered. Maybe.

Would you recommend this book?

10889381

Oh, most definitely. I mean… it’s likely my #1 re-read of the year!

Reviewed by AMS (amomentsilence)

Publisher: Amulet Books
Publication Date: October 2013
Format: eBook
Pages: 40
Genre: Fantasy, Fairytales Retold,
Twisted Fairytales, Romance,
Novella/Short Story, Magic, Alice
In Wonderland retelling
Age: Young Adult
Reviewer: AMS (amomentsilence)
Source: Bought
Challenge: 2014 Good Reads Reading Challenge (100)

 

[Book Review] The Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep and Never Had To by DC Pierson

The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep and Never Had To

 

This is an old review*, though I still feel the same about it now as I did then. As always, I add my current thoughts on the title at the end of this review, so you should still check it out! 🙂

*This book was also used in a booktalk for class.


The Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep and Never Had To by DC Pierson • 2010 • Vintage • 226 pages

“A witty coming-of-age novel. . . . In Darren and Eric, Pierson has created two engaging and memorable co-conspirators and co-protagonists.”

– Booklist

Genre/Theme: Coming of Age, Teens, Science Fiction, Sex, Nerd and Geek-dom, Friendship, Slice-Of-Life, Comedy, Suspension of Belief, High Schoolers

Brief Summary: The book is told by Darren Bennet, a high schooler, who meets Eric Lederer, the boy with the peculiar condition. He doesn’t sleep. They become friends over mutual interests of a love of drawing, being social outcasts, and a perpetual fear of girls. It’s the typical high school gimmick, except it’s not.

Evaluation: 2 of 5 stars

1-2 things you liked:

  • How he describes his drawing process.
  • That the story was told from the best friend Darren, instead of the boy who actually couldn’t sleep. I think that was clever because it gives an outsider look on this strange phenomenon rather than a first person account.
  • In terms of marketing value: the title is well chosen, as it sounds very Harry Potter (He Boy Who Lived) [or even Lisbeth Salander (The Girl Who Played With Fire) although that would be the wrong age group…]. This will hopefully entice readers of Harry Potter to wonder what this book might be about. On the other hand, depending on the reader, it could also be a turn off as well (what are they trying to do? Make another Harry Potter knock-off?)
  • Most of the humor wasn’t half bad, but sometimes I just couldn’t relate.

1-2 things you didn’t like:

  • The constant stream of consciousness writing style. I know the idea is that teens supposedly think this way, but I think it really excludes those who don’t think this way. Personally, I never had this supposed “disjointed” thought process growing up and find this writing style incredibly distracting and counterproductive. Even if teens may or may not think this way, there is no reason to promote it in their reading. After all, it is only promoting the idea that “Hey! Someone PUBLISHED this PROFESSIONALLY and yet it’s full of mistakes, and run-on sentences, and clunky as hell. Now I have an excuse to do that too!”
  • Clunky, disjointed sentences (that can’t even be called stream of conscious, seriously)
  • The book is written in present tense (and I really can’t stand that unless it has a real purpose or isn’t so IN MY FACE)
  • It can be a bit hard to follow, and drag in too many places.

Would you recommend this book?: No. Seriously. This book was not a favorite.

Looking Back (Current Thoughts & Eval): Okay. So here’s my problem with this book, thinking back on it now. I can’t remember a damn thing about it.

That’s right.

NOT A WORD.

—oh wait. No. That’s not entirely true. I do remember weirdly written sentences and badly written stream of consciousness passages. Which is fine. Who doesn’t love that sort of thing, right?

Well… I certainly do… but…. this just didn’t do it for me. It might have been because I was reading another book about sleeplessness and murder while asleep called The Boy Who Couldn’t Die by William Sleator. So it was actually getting me a bit confused trying to separate the two from one another.

Though I doubt it.

This book just… I don’t know. Some have said it’s their age that wouldn’t allow them to connect with the book, but that wasn’t the case when I first read this book, and it still isn’t the case now looking back on it. The humor was only somewhat there for me, the characters were… only somewhat ok, as well… And, well, obviously not that memorable a book either. It wasn’t a complete flop. I just didn’t really like it that much. And, of course, because I don’t remember (nor did I ever buy a copy of it), I can’t really give a better review than this.

Maybe one day I’ll find an old copy, or have nothing to read and go to my library and check it out again for a re-read… But… I seriously doubt this. :/

 

[Book Review] Repossessed by A. M. Jenkins

repossessed

 

This is an old review, though I still feel the same about it now as I did then.

*This book was also used in a booktalk for class.


Repossessed by A.M. Jenkins • 2007 • HarperTeen • 224 pages

“Jenkins works magic on readers. Warm, heartening message of hope coupled with a little rebellion.”

– Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Genre/Theme: An overworked fallen angel (since he doesn’t like being called ‘Demon’), Humorous, Satirical, Body possession, Young Adult, Paranormal, Supernatural, Afterlife, Heaven/Hell themes (but not in a bad way), Self Identity, Some philosophical questioning twinged in humor and wit

Brief Summary: Kiriel hasn’t had a vacation in… forever. And I mean, literally. Forever. He needs to take a break. He’s a Fallen Angel (as he doesn’t like the term “demon”; it’s politically incorrect) and he’s just stolen a body to vacation in. It’s not like anyone will miss him anyway.

Evaluation: 5 of 5 stars

1-2 things you liked:

  • Pfft–! Everything. It was quirky, funny, the voice of the character Kiriel was fun to get involved and engaged with, and also it was easy to be so sympathetic to how he felt and why he did the things he did.
  • The first person narrative in this book worked like a charm and really helped the reader understand and come into better recognition of the character.
  • I LOVE the cover. Now, I know it could possibly be a turn-off to some people (especially if they’re very religious) but the cover was just so captivating to me when it was pulled from the shelf and I saw it for the first time. I actually laughed. I wasn’t expecting that. (Y’see, I hadn’t googled or checked it out on Amazon first before finding the book at my local library.)
  • The last chapter was incredible. Probably one of my favorites. Also the first three chapters really got the reader hooked so you would wan to know what was going to happen next. Great way to get the reader addicted to a new read.
  • I honestly don’t have enough good to say about this book. Everyone should read it. Teens, adults… it’s just a great read.

1-2 things you didn’t like:

  • That it ended. XD I didn’t want this book to end. I was so mad when I got to the end. I kept saying “Nooo—! I can’t be over!” 😥

Would you recommend this book?: YES. 100 times YES. As a side note, since I was also asked specifically if this book would be good for a Catholic middle school as well… I’d have to say that I am unsure if I would recommend there. On one hand it talks about demons and angels and such, but it doesn’t promote religion or religious views (too expressedly) but I could see it possible being a problem since our narrator is a “fallen angel”.

Looking Back (Current Thoughts & Eval): I love this book. I really do. XD I’ll say it now, I’ll say it ten years from now. I LOVE this book. Kiriel is one hell of a character… and the VOICE! Wow! The humor was just right. The wittisicm was spot-on! Even the scenarios that befell him and the other characters was believable and memorable. I mean… he tries to win over the cat. THE FRIGGIN CAT MAN! Come on now! How great is that? XD (FYI – he’s inhabiting someone else’s body and no one figures it out except for the guy’s cat who, on sight hates his face, but eventually warms up to him a bit.) The only thing that I can remember bugging me about it was this tiny bit in the middle of it where everything went a little wonky for poor Kiriel.

Besides that, I can’t think of anything else! It’s a great, quick read. Not too deep in terms of storytelling, but that probably has a lot to do with the fact that Kiriel spent most of his time figuring out how to use his new human body (which I absolutely loved so I couldn’t care in the least 😈 ) I would suggest it to anyone who wants a fun, quick, engaging read, but doesn’t want to spend too much time getting to the good stuff, and love-love-LOVES dry humor.

 

15 YA Books Inspired By Greek Mythology

12425532Of Poseidon by Anna Banks (The Syrena Legacy, #1)
Galen is the prince of the Syrena, sent to land to find a girl he’s heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen—literally, ouch!—both teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma’s gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she holds the key to his kingdom…


 

Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini (Starcrossed, #155339g
Helen has always been different, and lately things have only been getting stranger. When she learn the truth about who she really is, superhuman difference may not be enough to save her.


 

9681214The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter (Goddess Test, #1)
A boy who claims to be Hades offers Kate a way to save her dying mother – but only if she can pass seven tests that one has ever passed before.


 

Antigoddess by Kendare Blake (Goddess War, #1)13246736
Athena thought she could live a quiet eternity among the humans, but when the feathers start sprouting beneath her skin, she realizes the Goddess War is just beginning.


 

sv_hc1Swet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs (Medusa Girls, #1)
Grace, Gretchen, and Greer have never met before, but could easily pass as each other’s doppelgangers. One just moved to San Francisco to start over in a new school. Another is tired of fighting monsters at ridiculous hours (especially on school nights). The last has everything pretty well put together with her life… until the other two girls show up on her doorstep claiming they’re triplets and supernatural descendants of Medusa, destined to spend the rest of their lives fighting monsters.


 

Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs (Oh. My. Gods. #1omg_pb_lo
When Phoebe’s mother and new husband move the family to an island in the Aegean, Phoebe finds herself enrolled in a super exclusive academy where all her classmates are descendants of Greek gods.


 

Everneath_coverEverneath by Brodi Ashton (Everneath, #1)
It’s been six months (“Surface”-side) since Nikki vanished without a trace into an underworld known as Everneath. Now she’s back, but only to say her goodbyes before she is banished back to the underworld… this time forever. Can she find a way to stay? With family, friends, and the person she loves most: her boyfriend, Jack, who was most devastated by her disappearance? Or will Cole, the smoldering immortal who enticed her to Everneath in the first place, win her over and finally make her his Queen?


 

Nobody’s Princess by Esther Friesner (Nobody’s Princess, #1640029
She is beautiful, she is a princess, and Aphrodite is her favorite goddess, but something in Helen of Sparta just itches for more out of life. Too bad she might get more than she bargained for!


 

15724908Persephone by Kaitlin Bevis (Daughters of Zeus, #1)
Persephone was expecting the dreaded “talk” from her mother at some point. But how many teens hear instead, “Oh, and by the way… you’re a goddess, too!” Persephone doesn’t… CAN’T believe what she’s hearing, but that all changes when she’s nearly abducted by Boreas, the god of winter, and saved by Hades.


 

13640928Painted Blind by Michelle A. Hansen
Psyche Middleton is rescued from an angry mob by the mysterious Erik and is swept away to his palace in an idyllic kingdom, where the beauty and culture of his world takes her breath away. His affection comes with one condition: she may not see him. When she breaks that trust, she is left at the mercy of Erik’s controlling mother who demands Psyche  prove herself in order to be reunited with him. Psyche knows love is never easy, but this is ridiculous. She agrees to complete three impossible tasks to prove her devotion to Erik—or die trying.


 

thelightningthiefThe Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1)
Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of school. Again. To make matters worse, mythological creatures and  even the very gods of Mount Olympus themselves have begun targeting him as the prime suspect in the theft of Zeus’ master lightning bolt. Oh — and he’s just found out he’s the son of Poseidon, too.


 

Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Covenant, #19680718
Alexandria may be descended from the gods, but she is just a lowly half-blood with only two options in life: become a trained Sentinel or a servant to the Hematoi purebloods. Obviously, scrubbing toilets is so not happening, but graduating from the Covenant is no easy task either! Especially with her crushing hard on pureblood Aiden.


 

10928022Airborne by Constance Sharper (Airborne, #1)
Avery knew she had a knack for attracting trouble, but even she is shocked when a six-foot-something harpie shows up on her doorstep. Coping with the existence of a mythological race? Okay. Unwittingly finding herself in the middle of a vicious harpie conflict? A little less okay. Having to rely on an arrogant harpie boy who gets under her skin? Now that is something Avery isn’t sure she can handle.


 

Fury by Elizabeth Miles (The Fury Trilogy, #19918133
Em and Chase are good kids who have both made big mistakes. Now three beautiful, yet deadly girls are here to make sure that they pay.


 

10044423Dark of the Moon by Tracy Barrett
Ariadne is destined to become a goddess of the moon, and leads a lonely life consisting of only her mother and her beloved though misshapen brothers, Asterion. When a slave ship of tributes arrives one day, she can’t help but sneak out to meet it. There, she befriends a newcomer named Theseus who isn’t afraid of her, but is ultimately doomed to either kill or be killed by the monster beneath the palace… The monster who just so happens to be her dearly beloved brother…

 

[Book Review] White Crow by Marcus Sedgwick

Jacket

This is an old review, though I still feel the same way about it now as I did then.

*This book was also used in a booktalk for class.


White Crow by Marcus Sedgwick • 2011 • Roaring Brook Press • 240 pages

“An oppressive modern-gothic thriller.”

TIMEOUT

Genre/Theme: Horror, YA, Mystery, Gothic, Paranormal, Thriller, Religious, Demon Worship, Strange Town Just Got Stranger, I don’t even know what’s going on here anymore

Brief Summary: Sixteen year old Rebecca moves her father from London to a small seaside village, where she befriends another motherless girl and they spend the summer together exploring the village’s sinister history.

Evaluation: Can I give something no stars? Yes. Yes I think I can. 😦

1-2 things you liked:

  • The short chapters.
  • The fact that the story is told via a mix of diary/journal format, 3rd person narrative, and also first person narrative. It was an interesting concept, I just don’t think it worked well for this book.

1-2 things you didn’t like:

  • This book was weird as fuck. Throughout the entire read I kept asking myself, “What is even going on in this town?” and “What the hell am I reading?”
  • All the God and Devil, and Angels and Demons reference (that mostly came out of nowhere) really threw me off because of how manic it was and all the highly, disturbing religious connotations from the priest who is literally going out of his mind. The obvious metaphors to Christianity, the Resurrection, worship and bible butchering, Hell and Heaven references (you know… the kind with “YOU SHALL BURN IN THE DEPTHS OF HELL!!” kinda thing…) I felt like I was listening to a crazy religious person who wanted to convert me or damn me to Hell (Although, I’m sure, more likely the motivation would be to damn me to Hell, since I would never convert 😛 ).
  • It had like fifty different fonts in it which drove me crazy. It is probably just the editor in me, but I could not see the point to it. As much as the publisher tried to use the different fonts throughout the book to differentiate narration and… I don’ know? Give the book a unique perspective? It just wasn’t working for me.

Would you recommend this book?: I doubt it. But maybe someone else would like this kind of thing…

Looking Back (Current Thoughts & Eval): When I first heard about this book, I was really excited. It sounded like the perfect read for my unique taste in books. The creepy cover, the even creepier synopsis, the curiouser and curiouser tagline, the genres of horror and paranormal and suspense all fit the bill. But then I started reading. And then I got a little further. And then I put the book down and didn’t finish it until I ABSOLUTELY HAD TO.

Then I sorely regretted it.

I don’t even remember what went on in this book because I purged it from memory since then. And even after all that, I am still left with this mental bad aftertaste that won’t go away. (It’s like with John Steinbeck’s, The Pearl. I can’t STAND that book. I barely even remember what it was about, but all I do remember was that it was a COMPLETELY pointless waste of my time and, if I ever wanted to, I would burn that book. Yeah. That bad.)

Another thing, White Crow was one of those books where you’re really not sure how it got past the editor’s desk. It’s not like the editing was atrocious (though it also wasn’t very good either) or even that the concept and actual story was all that… bad… It was just… really… really odd. And “odd” as in really NOT GOOD.

I wanted to like this book. I wanted to love the characters and the story and all the creepiness of that town. I even wanted to love the priest (Heaven forbid!) but… I just couldn’t. Confusing (NOT ambiguous, because this was NOT an ambiguous story as some would claim), choppy, not really scary either, and odd-as-in-NOT-GOOD. This was a whole different kind of “odd” and “weird” that bordered on bad storytelling. I should not have to force myself through a reading of something that is (or should have been) 100% in my reading genre preference.

But hey! I’m sure there will be people who would like this sort of book, and actually find it “scary” and “well-written”. I was just not one of them. Normally *I* would like this sort of book and didn’t so… take that as you will? 😕

 

[Book Review] Wither (The Chemical Garden #1) by Lauren DeStefano

 

wither

This is an old review, though I still feel the same about it now as I did then.

Well… I might be a little angrier about it now.

Just maybe. >__>;;;

*This book was also used in a booktalk for class. (P.S. – There are probably some spoilers in here since I got mad at this one. Then AND now…) (P.S.S. – Long post is LONG.)


Wither by Lauren DeStefano • 2011 • Simon & Schuster • 358 pages

“[Rhine] proves herself to be a heroine who faces her situation with spirit and cleverness. The trapped bride and mysterious husband are straight out of Gothic romances. By stirring in elements of sheer creepiness with dystopia and the hot topic of polygamy, DeStefano creates a story that should have broad appeal.”

– School Library Journal

Genre/Theme: trapped brides, polygamy, dystopian. post-apocalyptic future, young girls becoming brides to bear children, teens, human trafficking (because that’s what it is and you can’t tell me otherwise)

Brief Summary: This is a sci-fi tale that is more “light sci-fi with a mix of the disturbing and teeny apocalyptic future” than anything else. Rhine and her sister-wives have been abducted and forced to marry a man, Linden, in order to make babies and (as they later find out) be experimented on to find a cure for the virus killing off the human population. But one way or another, they are basically baby making machines. The summary at the back of the book gives the ominous line “We’ve perfected children” and then goes on to say that in this futuristic world, all children are born genetically perfect with no diseases and, as such, do not get sick — but at a price. Their life expectancy is only 25 years (for the boys) and 20 years (for the girls). Under the guise of “protecting and ensuring the continued survival of the human race” girls are abducted as soon as they reach maturity (aka the moment they can make babies) and sold off to the highest bidder to become the wife to a man that will marry them (and soon after impregnate them).

Sadly, I wish I could say this summary was the biased review of one angry reviewer, but it’s actually not. If you don’t believe, you can read for yourself and tell me I’m wrong.

Evaluation: 2 of 5 stars

1-2 things you liked:

  • The concept, though I feel that it really fell short in terms of execution. It was a compelling idea for a story, but felt more like weird advertisement for the sect of Mormonism that practices polygamous relationships, especially with all the hype for that new TV show Sister-Wives right now. And since I already want to gorge my eyes and ears out from all the publicity its already garnering, this book was probably, from the get-go, gonna be a “no” for me. The parallels and timing for this book just seems a little too weird. (Granted, the book dealt with forced relationships and such, which is different from the sect of Mormonism that practices polygamy… as I’m under the understanding that most Mormon polygamous marriages are consensual… BUT STILL. I honestly don’t know what the publishers were thinking publishing this book now. Trend-hopping doesn’t even cut it here. Ughh….)
  • The obvious displeasure, but also the internalized conflict felt by the main character Rhine towards her new life as a sister-wife and the first wife of Lind Ashby. He is hopelessly in love with her, so she can’t really find it in herself to hate him. This part worked for me, though only to a degree. I wish they had gone somewhere different with it though…
  • That it “ended” happily. I really felt for the main character Rhine. Though the ending itself was a little corny to me. I was almost hoping she would be found out and be killed before she escaped, but what can I say?

1-2 things you didn’t like:

  • The term “sister-wives”. Even though it sounded interesting, it actually ended up being… It mean it was also very… ugh. Let’s just put it this way: I know marketing was definitely behind the word choice. Viewers of the show Sister-Wives is obviously one of the key target markets.
  • It might have just been me, but I felt that the relationship between Rhine and Gabriel was a little forced and… random. Granted, I could not see Rhine staying in that horrid house with her “husband” Linden, but at the same time, I just didn’t see her ending up with Gabriel, either.
  • ALSO, as I came to find out, this is part of a series or trilogy (which I didn’t know nor even get the impression of while reading) so a lot of things haven’t been resolved in this book. Including finding her brother (which was the only reason I was actually reading this for – I hoped they would find each other… ughhhhhhhhhhhhHHHHNLKGNF!!!?!) and also what happens to the remaining sister-wives left behind? Not that I care, but still. Unresolved questions that really didn’t need to be left hanging like this…. >______>;;;
  • Adding to the previous point: When I read it, even after I was finished, I never realized it was a series book. The ending didn’t even feel like another book should come from it, even though there were many questions still left unanswered about the characters. It just… I don’t know. I didn’t care about any of them enough to even be bothered. When I got to the end I was like, “……okay??? *closes book and write up this report*”

Would you recommend this book?: I dunno. There is no gratuitous sex or swearing. Just the concepts that can be a little “out there”. I would maybe recommend this book to anyone who wants an interesting LIGHT  (key on the LIGHT) sci-fi YA book. Just know it is part of a series/trilogy so there is another book already out (called Fever) and the third Sever will be Feb 2013.

Looking Back (Current Thoughts & Eval): Alright. So this is one of those situations when I didn’t write out the blaringly obvious negatives when I first read the book because… well… I’ll all for suspending belief so long as the story is good and the concept is interesting and characters are all “yay”. This… was almost one of those situations. Looking back on it now, I know for a fact that my positive review and even possible recommendation came from simply enjoying the concept even if the execution was complete shit. I think this would have played out better if the book had been written for adults about this gritty, dark, nasty world where adults have fucked up the world and the children are the ones to pay for it. Y’know. A story with more depth to it (as in, more plausible science and actual storytelling since this book is oddly labeled SCIENCE FICTION hur hur yeah… -___-;;; )

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[Book Review] I Am J by Cris Beam

I-am-J

This is an old review, though I still feel the same about it now as I did then.

*This book was also used in a booktalk for class.


I Am J by Cris Beam • 2011 • Little, Brown Books for Young Readers • 352 pages

“A wonderful addition to the few novels that have dared to tackle a subject that has long lived in the cultural margins. . .a tender, surprisingly relatable story.”

The Los Angeles Times

Genre/Theme: Identity, Gender, Gender Identity, Transgender, Trans Teens, Isolation, Acceptance, Bullying, Self-Discovery, FtM

Brief Summary: This book tells of the young J, a transgendered boy and the struggles he faces as he learns to love himself and become the person he knows himself to be.

Evaluation: 3.75 of 5 stars

1-2 things you liked:

  • That it WASN’T in first person. I feel as though in today’s YA novels, especially the fiction, there is too much first person narrative – namely because it seems the “cool” thing to do, supposedly making the character’s story more personable and relatable to the reader. To me, it seems like such a cop-out. Yes, in some books, it really does draw the reader in, but too often, the author uses the first person narrative to “get away” with not writing decent narration, exposition, character development and individualized characters thoughts. The fact that this book was in third person really helped me see J as a person, not putting me into J’s shoes by using the allegation of “I did this” or “I did that”.
  • J, in general, as a character. He was flawed. He wasn’t perfect. I loved that. I don’t want some perfect transperson who — of course — acts so respectfully of everything and everyone around them. I wanted someone who was a little bit of what we don’t expect. Someone who we might even roll our eyes at and say, “What even, man? Really? You gotta be that way?” J was that person. J felt real to me, and I felt everything J went through in this book without feeling like everything was a pity-party or that the author was trying to preach to me to be accepting and understand J’s situation. J was an ass at times. And he felt sorry for himself at others. And sometimes I hated him. But that was great.
  • That he was Jewish AND Puerto Rican. You really don’t see that sort of combination in books, YA or otherwise. So… diversity! WOO-HOO! 🙂

1-2 things you didn’t like:

  • The aggressive amount of misogyny and homophobia infused in J. Like I said, I love that he wasn’t perfect. But sometimes this was a little excessive. I mean, I can understand where this guy is coming from. Honestly I can. I went through my own period of hating women (I realized later that I just hated everyone, though at the time women were really doing a job pissing me off right and left. 😀 Now though, I can classify myself — with utmost certainty — as an unbiased misanthrope instead of a total misogynist. Hey hey! XD ) J, on the otherhand, held fast to the fact that it’s totally OK to be a dick! Because, “Hey! I’m going through shit and this is a sure-fire way to be a MAN.”

    Yeah, no. Only complete dicks — regardless of gender — act that way. So, y’know, it’s a little irritating to say the least.

Would you recommend this book?: Probably.

Looking Back (Current Thoughts & Eval): For the target age (which is 9 and Up) I think the book might have been a little too graphic in terms of content. Granted, I remember reading books 9000x more graphic, gory, and explicit than this book when I was 9. And even younger. Then again… I was always a little weird. XD Either way, it would depend on the individual, I think. Personally, I think this book’s a little more suited for those a bit older, but hey! Hopefully there are more people out there like me when I was that age and can (1) actually understand the content and material, and (2) not be too freaked out by things like [SPOILER ALERT!! PLEASE HIGHLIGHT]a transgendered boy getting and/or talking about getting their breasts cut off[END SPOILER].

I still believe this book to be a wonderful read (even with J being a really depressing little shit) and definitely enlightening for those going through similar situations, thinking about taking the life-changing process of sex-change surgery, or those who have friends, family, or children that feel they were born into the wrong body or assigned the wrong gender as babies. It also peaks into the mind of a person questioning gender identity, and tackling gender norms and stereotypes, even if they don’t really come to the most accepted conclusion about it.

Normally, I don’t read many trans-themed books (at least not knowingly) but this one really caught my attention and held it from front to back. This book is certainly not for everyone, but I would still recommend it to anyone looking for something poignant, memorable, and glimpsing into the life of someone quite different (or startling similar) to themselves.

 

[Book Review] Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott

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This is one of those books that don’t leave you after you’ve finished reading it.

Trust me on this one. 

Read this book about two years back — for a class no less! and I still remember every detail vividly. I was to do a brief book analysis for it, which doubled as a book review… So here it is!


Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott • 2009 • Simon Pulse • 176 pages

“Some books are read and put away. Others demand to be talked about. Elizabeth Scott’s Living Dead Girl will be talked about.”

– Ellen Hopkins, New York Times bestselling author of Crank

Genre/Theme: Child Abuse, Abduction, Pedophilia, Starvation, Teens

Brief Summary: Alice is her name now, though it wasn’t always. Once she was known by another name and she lived as most other girls did. Happy. Carefree. Then she was taken by Ray and everything changed. The story takes place five years after she was abducted and forced to live with a pedophile that constantly rapes and abuses her, and eventually has her go in search of the next “Alice” for Ray to play with.

Evaluation: I cannot make up my mind about this book, whether I hate it and all that it is… or love it emphatically and would recommend it to all that I meet. The theme and overall storytelling of Living Dead Girl compels attention and raw emotion from the reader. I read it all in one sitting; putting it down and picking it right back up again every couple chapters. It was well-written; graphic yet not; disturbing from start to finish; moving and captivating with every page. It was the sort of book you read, understanding what it is about, and yet never expecting what you find as you turn the page and delve into the heart-wrenching tale of a young girl who has been changed forever.

Since the book is technically fiction, it really plunges the knife a bit deeper between it being a graphic retelling of an actual event or the fictional musings of an author trying to get word out to the public about what happens to children who have been abducted and abused. For the awards that it received, I think it deserved every single one and maybe more. As I mentioned before, this book was disturbing, but such a much needed story to be told. 5 of 5 stars!

1-2 things you liked:

  • The writing style and first person narrative. Made the story so much more compelling and raw, as though we, the reader, are right there with her every step of the way.
  • Short chapters. The effect was just right and kept the story moving without giving any chance for it to drag or linger too long on one terrible thing or another.
  • Compelling story. So very disturbing.

1-2 things you didn’t like:

  • How I got so engrossed in the story that I couldn’t put it down. I only wanted to read a chapter or two to see if I would like it and ended up reading the whole thing in one sitting.

Would you recommend this book?: YES! Though to whom? I.. really don’t know. I mean, I would recommend this book to anyone because it’s so moving and disturbing and jsknfjknak UGH. I enjoyed the read immensely. I know many people would be highly disturbed by it and might even hate it, but I love this book.