Jonas (Beautiful Dead, #1) by Eden Maguire

Jonas (Beautiful Dead, #1)

Title: Jonas (Beautiful Dead)
Author: Eden Maguire
Published: republished March 1, 2010
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9781402239441
Source: ARC provided by Sourcebooks Fire

Description: Something strange is happening in Ellerton High. Phoenix is the fourth teenager to die within a year. His street fight stabbing follows the deaths of Jonas, Summer and Arizona in equally strange and sudden circumstances. Rumours of ghosts and strange happenings rip through the small community as it comes to terms with shock and loss.   Darina, Phoenix’s grief-stricken girlfriend, is on the verge. She can’t escape her intense heartache, or the impossible apparitions of those that are meant to be dead. And all the while the sound of beating wings echo inside her head…   And then one day Phoenix appears to Darina. He tells her that she must help Jonas – the first of the four to die – right the wrong linked with his death. Only with her help can Jonas finally rest in peace. Will love conquer death? And if it does, can Darina set it free?

I Give This Book 3.5 Stars!

I really wanted to like this book, and for the most part I did.  It was a fast and easy read.  Darina seemed a bit extreme to me at first (maybe I’m growing tired of the love-struck teenager role?).  But, she quickly grew on me.  She has a lot of backbone for a teenager.  I was impressed with the was she handled herself in a lot of the situations.  She also seemed genuinely concerned for a friend.  She knew that helping Jonas would also be helping her (her name escapes me at the moment).  I was not impressed with her parents, but I could see that being normal with a step-parent (another running theme is teen fiction).  The 4 dead teens and their “group” also make for interesting characters.  They added humor and definitely some suspense and terror to the story.  Although I wonder how they expected to right the wrongs associated with their deaths without Darina.  It’s almost like they knew she would come help them.  I loved the idea of the angel wing tattoos marking them according to how they died.  It was an interesting idea to the story.
Now, there were a couple things that bring this book down for me.  First, the use of the word zombie.  When I think of zombie, I think of the living dead.  That’s not what these people are.  They are more like ghosts with actual bodies.  Second, I really disliked the ending for some reason.  I was not surprised with the circumstances surrounding Jonas’ death.  But, I thought he could have been vindicated differently.  I understood the feelings behind the extreme actions that brought about the ending.  It just left me with a bad taste in my mouth.  It felt over the top.  Last, but really not important, I wish the book was a little longer.  I felt like all the action took place way to fast.

 

As part of the Beautiful Dead blog tour, here are links to other reviews by fellow bloggers! 

Park Avenue Princess 21-Mar
My Ever Expanding Library 22-Mar
Bri Meets Books 22-Mar
Book Loons 22-Mar
The Book Lush 23-Mar
Bran Hambric Fan Blog 24-Mar
Red Headed Book Child  24-Mar
Book Blather 25-Mar
Inside The Mind 25-Mar
National Children’s Book Examiner 26-Mar
 
Babbling About Books, and More 26-Mar
Lauren’s Crammed Bookshelf  26-Mar

 

And if you are interested in reading the first chapter

View this document on Scribd
 

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Published in: on March 26, 2010 at 7:48 am  Comments (1)  
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Numbers by Rachel Ward

Numbers

Title: Numbers
Author: Rachel Ward
Published: Feb 2010
Pages: 325
ISBN: 9780545142991
Source: Won from Goodreads First Look

Description: Whenever Jem meets someone new, no matter who, as soon as she looks into their eyes, a number pops into her head. That number is a date: the date they will die.
Burdened with such an awful awareness, Jem avoids relationships. Until she meets Spider, another outsider, and takes a chance. But while they’re waiting to ride the Eye Ferris wheel, Jem notices that all the other tourists in line flash the same number. Today’s number. Today’s date. Terrorists are going to attack London. Jem’s world is about to explode!

I Give This Book 3.5 Stars!

The description above is the most common one found for this book.  And, I have to point out that it’s extremely misleading.  I  prefer the description that are usually included with this on sites such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble.   The fact that Jem sees the date of when someone will die is more like a side story in this book.  It leads to the events that actually take place.  I’m hoping that not to many people are disappointed when the story isn’t what they expect.  Because the actual story is really pretty good.  Jem is a complete fireball of a lead character.   She’s sarcastic, witty, and fun.   I completely understand why she shies away from relationships.  I wasn’t sure what I thought of Spider at first.  But, he grew on me by the end of the book.  I could see why Jem found the connection she did with him.  The events that occur after the incident at the ferris wheel are intense and they leave you in a whirlwind of emotions.   I was completely shocked by the ending.  The only thing that really bothered me was the constant talk of the characters being victims of their circumstances.  The story made it seem that because they came from poor backgrounds, they wouldn’t amount to anything more.    

Published in: on March 19, 2010 at 7:15 am  Comments (1)  
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Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves

Bleeding Violet

Title: Bleeding Violet
Author: Dia Reeves
Published: January 2010
Pages: 464
ISBN: 9781416986188
Source: ARC copy provided for review by Around The World Tours

Description: Love can be a dangerous thing…
Hanna simply wants to be loved. With a head plagued by hallucinations, a medicine cabinet full of pills, and a closet stuffed with frilly, violet dresses, Hanna’s tired of being the outcast, the weird girl, the freak. So she runs away to Portero, Texas in search of a new home.  But Portero is a stranger town than Hanna expects. As she tries to make a place for herself, she discovers dark secrets that would terrify any normal soul. Good thing for Hanna, she’s far from normal. As this crazy girl meets an even crazier town, only two things are certain: Anything can happen and no one is safe.

I Give This Book 4 Stars!

I think I should start off by saying this book is not for everyone.  I knew from pervious reviews that it’s a little dark and twisted, okay maybe I should say a lot twisted.  You know from the description that Hanna is not what one would call mentally stable.  I hate to use the word crazy (that would be the psychology background talking), but really there isn’t a better word for her.  And in Portero, she’s not the craziest thing out there.  In this town, monsters turn fountains into blood, pop out of invisible doors, live in windows, and possess people.  To combat this all, Hanna takes her craziness to the next level, were her hallucinations become real and help protect her.  The book is intense to say the least.  I had a hard time with Hanna, maybe because it’s so hard to figure out what she’s doing.   Wyatt was interesting, but I felt like even he was hiding something.   The book has a lot of very mature content in it, including graphic violence, suicide and sexual content.  I liked it, but as I said from the start, it isn’t for everybody.

 

Published in: on March 17, 2010 at 7:56 am  Comments (1)  
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Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why

Title: Thirteen Reasons Why
Author: Jay Asher
Published: October 2007
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9781595141712
Source: Library

Description: Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker–his classmate and crush–who committed suicide two weeks earlier.   On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out how he made the list.  Through Hannah and Clay’s dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.

I Give This Book 5 Stars!

This book caught my interest from the first time I saw it.  I finally picked it up when I saw it at the library.  Within the first couple pages I was hooked.  They way the author presented this story was so real.  I could feel Clay’s emotions as he listened to each of the tapes.  I wanted to reach out to Hannah and tell her that everything was going to be okay.   I’ve read reviews that state they felt Hannah was placing blame on those 13 people.  I never felt like that through the entire story.  I felt Hannah was trying to point out that a person’s actions DO affect others.  Rumors, lies, bullying, etc are all ways that can cut a person down.  I think Hannah hoped that through the tapes, she could make someone (even just one) realize their behavior can change.  I was so raw in emotion towards the end, I needed to step back from the book for awhile and reflect over it.  You know the outcome of the story, but part of you hopes for that glimmer of help.  Something for Hannah to reach out and hold on to.  I hope this book becomes a must read for teens.  I think it has a very real portrayal of suicide and that things that may drive a person to believe that it may be the only option.

Published in: on March 10, 2010 at 7:16 am  Comments (1)  
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Shudder by Jennie Hansen

Shudder

Title: Shudder
Author: Jennie Hansen
Published: 2009
Pages: 218
ISBN: 9781598117684
Source: Library

Description:  Darcy and Clare grew up as best friends, sharing trials and triumphs from preschool through college graduation. Now they’re sharing an apartment in Boise, Idaho, where Clare just landed a great job and Darcy is pursuing a teaching certificate. There’s only one problem: Blaine, Clare’s boyfriend. His chauvinistic, know-it-all ways set Darcy’s teeth on edge. Darcy vows not to let Blaine ruin her lifelong friendship with Clare, but when Blaine insists on moving in, Darcy suddenly finds herself alone. The estranged friends forge ahead on seemingly separate paths. Engaged to Blaine, Clare becomes trapped in ugly family politics and vicious treatment from her fiancé. Darcy finds a temporary home with Karlene, an accident victim seeking live-in help, but a twisted plot soon threatens their safety. Clare’s wedding briefly reunites her with Darcy, yet the friends have never been farther apart. And when Clare finds herself in mortal peril and finally calls on Darcy to help, it might be too late.

I Give This Book 3 Stars!

It was the cover and title that first caught my eye.  Of course I picked it up to read the description on the back.  The second thing that jumped out at me was that the story takes place in Boise, Idaho.  I know most people would say who cares, but I’m from southern Idaho (about 2 hours from Boise), and this really got me.  I was happy to see it on the shelf at the library, so I picked it up.  Now comes the trouble of reviewing it.  I liked it, but I can guarantee that it is not for everybody.  The main problem I see is that it revolves greatly around the Mormon religion.  I can take it with a grain of salt, but I’m afraid that there will be many who can’t read around it.  Plus, if you are not Mormon or familiar with the religion, I’m afraid it will come across as extreme.  Now, setting that aside, I liked the characters.  I think it gives a very good picture of abusive relationships.  You can’t help but feel for Darcy as she watches what her friend goes through.  Add in the murder/mystery, and it was a lot of fun.  The book got better when it stepped away from why the girls can’t live with a man, or issues with modest clothing, and all things that seem so cliché to the mormon religion.  I understand that they need something to read too.  Something that fits in with those who have strong beliefs, and above all something clean.  That’s what the author was aiming for here, and that’s fine too. 

Published in: on March 5, 2010 at 7:05 am  Leave a Comment  
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Shadowland (The Immortals, #3) by Alyson Noel

Shadowland (The Immortals, #3)

Title: Shadowland
Author: Alyson Noel
Published: November 2009
Pages: 339
ISBN: 9780312590444
Source: Library

Description: At the start of this breathtaking novel, Damen and Ever travel to Summerland in search of an antidote to reverse a powerful poison. But instead of the cure they seek, they find something far more sinister: the truth about their existence and the fate lying in wait of an immortal’s soul.  Now, with Damen fighting to save them from the Shadowland, Ever turns to magick, hoping to break Damen’s curse. Along the way Ever encounters the mysterious Jude, finding herself drawn to him in a way that will test her love for Damen like never before . ..

 I Give This Book 4 Stars! (see below)

So, I really should have written my review when I read this book .  You notice I give it 4 stars, but that’s because it’s what I rated it on goodreads.  But, I made the mistake of reading some other reviews before I wrote my own.  And now, I’ve forgotten what I liked about it.  All I can see are the issues that others pointed out.  So, I’m tempted to go back and give it 3 stars.  I did like it.  The plot was interesting and suspenseful at times.  The introduction of Jude and why he was there  completely caught me off guard.  I know for sure that when I finished reading it the twins really annoyed me.  But, now all I can think of is the lack of development in Ever and Damon’s relationship.  We seem to still be in the same place we were in book one.  I can’t help but notice Ever’s glaring faults.  Bad choice after bad choice do not make for an interesting series.  At some the main character has to evolve a little.  But, I will continue on.  But at this point in the series, I’m glad it’s the library buying them and not me…

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Beautiful Creatures

Title: Beautiful Creatures
Author(s): Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Published: December 2009
Pages: 576
ISBN:
9780316042673
Source: Purchased Copy

Description: There were no surprises in Gatlin County. We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.
At least, that’s what I thought.Turns out, I couldn’t have been more wrong. There was a curse.
There was a girl. And in the end, there was a grave. Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever. Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.
In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

I Give This Book 4 Stars!

I’ve noticed the the reviews of this book seem to be situated on both sides of the spectrum with very few in the middle.  You either love it or you hate it.  While not 5 star worthy in my opinion, I really liked it!  I found the male narrative to be interesting and refreshing.  And despite that so many say that he isn’t a believable “male” teenager, I think he is.  I don’t think we can say what the typical a male teen thinks (we may know how they act, but I think that is entirely different).  I also really liked Lena.  She was the opposite of what a lot of female characters are in today’s teen fiction.  I think we get a good look at how she struggles to fit in, and with understanding her own growing powers.  I loved the cast of characters.  Each had something to add to the story, and I thought they were well developed.  I was curious how dual authors would work in this story, but I honestly would not have known if both names weren’t on the cover.  The story flows together seamlessly.   The only drawback, in my opinion, was the ending.  I’m not sure why, but I felt that it was a bit of a let down.  You get so much tension and suspense built up to that point, and then I felt I didn’t get the resolution I wanted.  Not enough to drag down the book to much.  You can bet I will be reading the sequel (I can’t imagine that there won’t be one).


 

Published in: on February 26, 2010 at 7:52 am  Leave a Comment  
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