Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Walking in the Shadows by Cassandra Giovanni

Seconds seem like a lifetime when the life you lived is slowly drained out of you by those who care not what you felt, hoped, or dreamed. When the darkness comes it is all-consuming; there is no light and there is no pain. It is the never-ending loss of hope that now consumes me as I die in his arms.
This is Abigail Martin’s nightmare. After her parents become the first victims of a serial killer obsessed with the vampire saga, "Crimson Reign," Abigail does the only thing that she thinks will save her from her parent’s fate–she becomes some one else. As Vera MacIntrye, she falls in love with the very handsome Tad Knightley, and then walks into her first day at her new school to see him standing at the front of the classroom. He’s every teenage girls fantasy, but as he writes “Mr. Knightley: AP British Literature” across the white board Vera realizes the one person who filled the gaping hole in her heart will soon rip it wide open again.

Vera struggles to adjust to being a ‘normal’ teenager with very adult responsibilities like paying the rent, buying groceries and making sure that lights stay on, while being drawn time and time again back to her off-limits teacher. What’s worse is he is drawn to her too, and their worlds refuse to stay apart when Tad finds Vera screaming in terror in the parking lot after the winter formal. The murderer has struck again and is getting closer to the next target–Vera. Tad will do whatever he can to save her, even if it means losing his dream job, but will it be enough when the murderer is closer than anyone ever thought?

Book description from Goodreads.com.

My Review 

                                    I was given this book in exchange for an honest review.
   Wow!  Talk about a crazy and amazing book.  It definitely kept me guessing and the ending was truly not what I expected.
   Abigail is only a senior in high school but has found herself running from a nightmare.  Her parents were murdered by a serial killer that is obsessed with a series of vampire books called Crimson Reign.  Her parents were murdered when the Crimson Reign movie was released and in order to protect herself she changes her name to Vera and moves to a new town.  While she is there she meets a wonderful man named Tad Knightley, a student from the local college, and they fall in love.  The only problem is that she doesn't tell him that she is still in high school.  All is fine until he graduates and gets a job as a teacher at her school.  As if that wasn't enough to deal with it is also time for a new Crimson Reign movie to be released and Vera fears the killer will strike again.  Vera also feel that the killer may be getting closer to finding her. 
   This book is full of twists and turns and kept me on the edge of my seat.  I am  not a huge fan of horror or thrillers that are too intense so it was great that this book had the romance between Vera and Tad as well as a lot of humorous parts to keep it from being too much. 
   I loved the romance between Vera and Tad.  Vera is such a sweet girl and you can't help feel for her and her situation.  Tad is exactly what she needs.  While I in no way condone any personal relationship between a teacher and a student I was able to overlook their relationship because when they met he was not her teacher and she is already an adult and a senior in high school.  I also loved that Tad's last name is Knightley so he is referred to as Mr. Knightley; as in the character from Pride and Prejudice.  That made him all the more endearing to me.
  I hate when I know who the 'bad guy' is from the beginning of the book!  In this story the author did a great job of not letting too much slip as far as who the killer was.  Because of this I was constantly waiting for the killer to jump from the shadows and shatter Vera's world again.  I did not even begin to suspect who the killer might be until the end of the book and even then the motive was a complete surprise.
  If you want to read a great suspenseful book that isn't too gory or intense this is definitely the book for you.  It contains no gore or over the top violence but just enough intensity to get your heart pumping.

Parent's Guide:  This book contains mild swearing and the theme is not appropriate for younger teens.  There is a person that is murdered in the book and the serial killer is after Vera so it is a bit intense.  Definitely a PG-13 book based on the general story line.

Black Moon by Jessica McQuay

"Am I losing my mind?"

Paige couldn't help but question her sanity. What other explanation could there be for her hearing a conversation held barely above a whisper in the back of a classroom full of students? What about coming home to find one of those very classmates lying in wait in the darkness of her home, ready to attack her?

Confused, frustrated and feeling every ounce of her social ostracism, Paige confides in the one person she's always been able to count on: her mom. But when her mom reveals a deeply rooted, unbelievable family secret, Paige discovers her world is filled with more than she ever imagined possible. A world where fairytales live alongside nightmares and secrets are the glue that binds them together. Suddenly no one is who they seem and Paige is faced with more questions than answers. Can she survive in a world filled with creatures scarier than anything she could imagine and where deceit runs as thick as blood? Or will the truth send her over the edge?

Book description from Goodreads.com
My Review

                                  I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
    Paige was a typical teen just trying to get through high school. Her world begins to unravel when she starts experiencing strange occurrences. One day while sitting in class she overhears a classmates thoughts. If that isn't strange enough, Paige ends up getting attacked after school by another classmate and overhears strange thoughts from her mind that make Paige believe that something even stranger than just reading minds is going on. More than a little freaked out, Paige confronts her mom about the things that she is experiencing and her mom drops a bombshell. Her mom is not human. She is a fairy princess from another dimension called Varulean. Now not only is Paige trying to survive high school but she is having to travel to a new world, meet grandparents she never knew and learn all about how to be a royal fairy. Needless to say Paige has a little difficulty figuring out everything and is hurt by her heritage being hidden from her. Plus, just when she thinks all of the secrets have been revealed, there are even bigger and crazier secrets that come to light. Along with her tutor and friend Naialah, Paige returns home to face all of these secrets and the problems they have created.
    I definitely enjoyed this book. I thought the author did a great job of creating another world, which isn't always easy. The scenes from the fairy court were very descriptive and believable. I also enjoyed the author's descriptions of the various plants that were encountered when Paige arrived in Varulean. They were very creative and just different enough to feel like they were from another world without being too crazy.
    The characters in the book were all wonderful also. I really liked Paige, even though her personality seemed to jump around a lot depending on the situation. Paige's grandparents were also wonderful because you could never quite tell what was going on in their minds. They were the perfect royals; seemingly loving and nice to Paige but very deceitful and dangerous behind her back. My favorite character in the book was Naialah. She is very mysterious and powerful and it was great to learn little bits of her story as the book goes along. I am just hoping that the next book reveals more about her.
    There was only one thing about the book that I did not like and that was that the relationship between Paige and Naialah was a bit strange at times. Most of the time I was trying to figure out if the author was trying to take their relationship in a romantic direction but then it would seem like it was just simple friendship and that Paige was just in awe of Naialah and her powers. It was just a bit weird to me that their relationship was just never really defined one way or another. Maybe in the next book I will be able to finally figure it out.
    Overall the book was really good and I enjoyed reading. It will be interesting to see what the next book will bring. Hopefully there will be more revealed about Paige's heritage and all of the secrets that so many people are keeping. 

Parent's Guide:  There is moderate swearing throughout the book.  As I mentioned above there is also a question about the relationship between Paige and Naialah.  It is not necessarily a romantic relationship even though at times it seems like it may go that way.  Since this is a conservative blog I feel like I need to mention that.  As for a 'movie' type rating I would say it is PG-13.

Prophecy Girl by Faith McKay


Ever since Samantha Winthrop's mother moved them to Lacuna Valley, supposedly in search of better weather, the list of strange questions she has no answers for has been growing out of control.

Does her little sister, Violet, have the ability to make things happen just by "praying" for them? Are Sam's dreams really predicting the future? Is she destined to marry the boy she just met, and what is the mysterious orb that he's guarding? Why does she get the impression that there are dangerous creatures watching from the woods?

While Sam should be focusing on answering those questions, there is one other that makes them seem almost irrelevant: Is her mother planning on killing her and Violet?

Book description provided by Goodreads.com

My Review

         I was given this book in exchange for an honest review.
    This was such an amazing read! The author did a truly amazing job at creating such a wonderful story that I couldn't help but be sucked in.  It was a little slow to start but once the story got going I couldn't put the book down.
    This book is the story of two sisters, Violet and Sam. Their family has moved to another small town in the middle of nowhere, just like many times in the past. The girls have no idea why they keep moving and their parents never really tell them anything about their reasons for hopping from town to town. Soon they find out that this town is very different than any of the other towns they have lived in and they are sucked in to the middle of a crazy drama. Sam is especially affected by this turn of events because she is the older sister and is almost more like a mom to Violet than a sibling.
    The characters in this book are all very well written. I fell in love with Violet and her precociousness. She is such a friendly little girl and loves to help those she cares about. The only problem is that she always believes that people are good and in this book that is not always the case. You can definitely see why Sam feels so protective of her. All of the other characters were wonderful too. The only character that wasn't well written was Sam and Violet's father. He is really not talked about in the book and it is almost as if he really isn't a part of the family. I do wish that his character would have been explained a little better. With all of the craziness that happened with the family during the book you would think he would have been more involved and it would have been nice to have a little more explanation as to why he wasn't.
    My favorite part of this book was how well the author did in creating such an evil villain. I do not usually enjoy the villains in books. I am more of the good always wins kind of person. That being said, I think that this particular villain is the most truly evil character I have ever encountered in a book. I think that most of the reason why this villain seemed so evil is because of who they are. Their character is one that should be kind and caring toward the girls but instead the further in to the book you get the more and more you realize how truly horrible they are. Sorry to be a bit vague but I really am trying not to give anything away.
    Other than the lack of involvement of the father's character there is nothing in this book that I didn't love. The story is original and enthralling and you can't help but be drawn in thoroughly. Sam and Violet face such crazy obstacles when really all they want is to just live a normal, happy life.  Then, just when you think things can't get any crazier in the story, they do. I can't wait for the next book in the series to come out so that I can finally find out what happens to Sam, Violet and all of the other characters.

Parent's Guide: This book is geared toward teens and is very appropriate for that age level.  There is some very mild swearing and the villain is truly crazy and horrible but nothing bad.  I would put it along the lines of a PG movie.