Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Review: Halfway to the Grave

"You're not a woman," he said finally. "You're the Grim Reaper with red hair!" 
Halfway to the Grave is definitely not the book I expected it to be. Jeaniene Frost has basically written Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan fiction. Which isn't that bad if Spike is your favorite character. But that's not the case when it comes to me. I think I would've preferred Angel fan fiction. You know, the television show starring David Boreanaz.
David "Angel" Boreanaz
James "Spike" Marsters
So as you can see Angel is waaay hotter than Spike, but I guess that's beside the point.

Anyway back to the book. Catherine "Cat" Crawfield (I can't stress enough how stupid/terrible this nickname is) is a half vampire, half human, 20-ish, woman who lives in Ohio. She lives in freaking Ohio. I cannot emphasize enough how irrelevant the setting being in Ohio is. The entire time we never learn anything special about Ohio. I don't even know what city she lives in. I really hate the nickname Cat. It's like every teenaged girls way of trying to be covertly sexy. And right on par with Frost's disastrous attempt at making Catherine sexy she has Bones, aka Spike, nickname her kitten. That's right her nickname has a nickname. And even more catastrophic is later on we learn that she also goes by "Cathy" and then Bones give her yet another nickname "Red Reaper". As far as nicknames go Frost should never be allowed to give them out. 

Aside from the terrible nicknames everyone in this book has the plot is not as horrendous. Catherine has devoted her life to killing vampires because her mother was raped and impregnated by a vampire. Yes, that is how Catherine became a half-breed. So Catherine's mother has been guilt tripping her for her entire life and has convinced her all vampires are evil. Catherine believes this until her encounter with the infamous Bones.

Bones turns Catherine's world upside down. He gives her the opportunity to kill powerful vampires and promises her he will help her find her father. (I think she finds her dad in the second book.) Catherince eventually falls in love with Bones but doesn't admit it until she's slept with him at least twice. Honestly, Catherine's character is completely predictable and boring. She's pretty much a bigot and a prude (none of which makes a relatable character).

Overall, I wouldn't recommend this book unless you are an avid Spike fan. 
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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Teen Tuesday #2

This week's Teen Tuesday comes from a list compiled by Goodreads. This list is the "best" Young Adult books for the month of September. (I put best in quotations because preference is subjective.) These books are listed in no particular order. 

by Kiersten White (Goodreads Author)

Downton Abbey plus magic? It’s an enchanting combo in this romantic fantasy that follows islander Jessamin as she discovers the dangerous, alluring secret world of the Albion nobility and gets to know a young lord, Finn. Goodreads member Jillian Heise said, “I totally loved reading this book…. It has a historical feel, with elements of class and acceptance woven throughout a story of doing good by standing up to bad, entwined with fate and romance.”

by Melissa Marr (Goodreads Author)
Eva was hit by a car. When she wakes up, she finds that she now has a sixth sense: She knows how people will die. Eva and her friend Nate try to prevent their friends’ deaths while eluding a mysterious killer in this dark and twisty Southern Gothic tale. Sue said, “[A] thrilling book that will…make you turn on the lights in the middle of the night because you don’t want to face the darkness. This story is engrossing, vivid, and creepy.”

by Robin Talley (Goodreads Author)
Virginia, 1959. As part of the battle for civil rights, schools are being integrated, and tempers are running high. This brave and emotional dual POV novel follows the relationship between Sarah, one of the first black students at the all-white Jefferson High, and Linda, whose white father wants to keep things “separate but equal.” Leanne Bell said, “Words cannot describe how amazing this book is. Not only does it deal with racism, it also deals with attitudes toward gay/lesbian relationships in the 1950s…such a beautiful and inspiring story.”

by Joy N. Hensley (Goodreads Author)
When Sam joins the first-ever class of girls at Denmark Military Academy, she faces punishing physical trials and meets a sexy drill sergeant—nothing she can’t handle. But soon she is the target of brutal hazing at the hands of a secret society. Will they drive her out? Joshua Bellin said, “Hensley, who attended military school herself, gets all the details right…. A book about courage, loyalty, and daring to be different, Rites of Passage marks the emergence of a major new talent in the world of YA.”

by William Ritter (Goodreads Author)
Investigator R.F. Jackaby can see supernatural beings. When young Abigail Rook becomes his assistant, she is thrust into the hunt for a serial killer who may not be at all human in this detective thriller set in turn-of-the-century New England. Emily May said, “This book is so many things, and all of them are good. It has all the atmosphere of a creepy Victorian mystery, all the humorous banter of BBC Sherlock; it has complex characters and wonderful writing. And most of all: It is just so damn charming.”

Just from reading the synopses for each book here's my must-read order: 
1. Lies We Tell Ourselves 
This book sounds too good to be true. I have my fingers crossed that it hasn't written a check that it can't cash. Racism, integration, and homosexuality are not light topics and I'm hoping that being in the YA category isn't going to make the author breeze over these subjects.

2. Rites Of Passage
The synopsis reminds me of Vampire Academy. That's not to say this book is going to be anything like that, but the main characters seem similar. Considering that this is a YA book I don't expect for the love plot to be sophisticated, but I hope it's a lot better than shallow, mindless obsessions. 

3. Illusions Of Fate
This book might be amazing, but the synopsis doesn't tell you anything. It's so vague and that makes me feel like there isn't actually a story here, rather an interesting subject. Subjects don't make stories. Stories come from their subjects actively doing something. I have a feeling this might be a pauper to a princess story, so maybe I should have moved this lower on my list.      

4. Made For You
I'm really not too interested in this book. I think if I ever get around to actually reading it I'll have exhausted all my other "to read" books. This book sounds like the YA version of Final Destination. What strikes me as odd right away is that her friends don't start dying until she develops the sixth sense, which makes the plot seem contrived. Also why is it titled "Made For You"? I'm sure the answer to my question lies within the book, but I don't think the title of a book should be baffling to someone looking to read it. The name should concur with the synopsis; I shouldn't have to reach for the meaning.

5. Jackaby
Jackaby ends my list because I have absolutely zero interest in reading this book. I'm not too fond of British settings. Also I'm confused about how this book fits into the YA category. I'm guessing the main character is under 18, but it doesn't seem like it. He's apparently an investigator with an assistant. In my world this is an adult job unless of course he's kin (my NC roots are showing) to Judy Bloom. 
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