Book Review: Damaged by Amy Reed

20759617Damaged by Amy Reed

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: October 14, 2014

Pages: 384 (Hardcover)

good good

When Kinsey’s best friend Camille dies in a car accident while she was behind the wheel, she shuts down completely, deciding that numbness is far better than mourning. She wants to be left alone during the last few weeks of high school, but Camille’s mysterious boyfriend Hunter, who was also in the car that night, has a different idea.

Despite all of Kinsey’s efforts, she can’t shake Camille, who begins haunting her in dreams. Sleep deprived and on the verge of losing it, she agrees to run away with Hunter to San Francisco. As the pair tries to escape both the ghost of Camille and their own deep fears, Kinsey questions how real her perception of her friendship with Camille was, and whether her former friend’s ghost is actually now haunting her. Hunter, meanwhile, falls into a spiral of alcoholism, anger, and self-loathing.

Ultimately, Kinsey and Hunter must come to terms with what they’ve lost and accept that they can’t outrun pain.

First of all, I would like to thank the publisher, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion

Ghost stories are pretty cool. They usually have nightmares, suspense, and lots of emotion. I’ve never been one to read them since they aren’t that well done (or so I’m told). It seems that Damaged is no different. Really, I wanted to like this one more than I actually did because I’ve enjoyed novels by Reed in the past.

There’s so much info-dumping and since most of it is during the beginning, I couldn’t make sense of it all. With talks of random events and stuff, I just felt left in the dark. Moreover, the story is pretty typical with the broken girl and boy trying to fix each other. The romance felt forced at best. They have nothing in common except they both cared about Camille. Another thing that could have been better it Kinsley’s mom who could have been by far, my favourite character , she’s sassy and strange and gives the story flavour. Sadly, she’s not developed and feels like a half written page.

Still, the people they meet on their way to San Francisco are all unique especially Terry, who I found adorable. Camille is a well put together character, maybe the best developed despite the fact that she’s already dead before the story even begins. Also, I liked how Kinsley opened up at the end albeit a cliché used in almost every type of book, I still enjoyed it.

All in all, not the best book by Reed. The writing is great which helped make the boring characters bearable. Still, I recommend this to anyone looking for something that deals with ghosts and letting go.

2 Boring Clouds
2 Boring Clouds

Book Review: Fire With Fire (Burn For Burn#2) by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

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Fire With Fire (Burn For Burn#2) by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: August 13, 2013

Pages: 528 (Hardcover)

good good

Lillia, Kat, and Mary had the perfect plan. Work together in secret to take down the people who wronged them. But things didn’t exactly go the way they’d hoped at the Homecoming Dance.

Not even close.

For now, it looks like they got away with it. All they have to do is move on and pick up the pieces, forget there ever was a pact. But it’s not easy, not when Reeve is still a total jerk and Rennie’s meaner than she ever was before.

And then there’s sweet little Mary…she knows there’s something seriously wrong with her. If she can’t control her anger, she’s sure that someone will get hurt even worse than Reeve was. Mary understands now that it’s not just that Reeve bullied her—it’s that he made her love him.

Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, burn for a burn. A broken heart for a broken heart. The girls are up to the task. They’ll make Reeve fall in love with Lillia and then they will crush him. It’s the only way he’ll learn.

First of all, I would like to thank the Publisher, Simon and Schuster/Simon Pulse for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion

An eye for an eye. A leg for a leg. A life for a life. Fire With Fire is a novel that I’ve been looking forward to since I found out the title. Even though I didn’t love the first one, Burn For BurnI actually expected to love this one and all of its petty high school drama and bullshit. But I didn’t love this novel, not really. I think I was expecting too much from it, hoping that it would give more information about the popular crowd (mostly Alex) and Mary since I was left wanting to know more about what she really is. The beginning of the story is slow, everything is drawn out especially Mary and her parts. I felt like the authors rushed her parts and only gave me as little as possible information on her.

Fire With Fire has quite a few flaws in it.  The story could have been a lot shorter instead of being dragged out as much as it is. And I hate to say this and it could just be me and my ADD kicking in but I didn’t care about Kat at all. Kat used to be my favourite character, especially during the first book because of her tough attitude and killer confidence, she did whatever she wanted to. But in this one, her nasty attitude seems to falter and her problems albeit important and real to just about every teenager, seem boring and I found myself skimming her chapters to read about Lillia. Han and Vivian try too hard this time around to give Kat a badass appearance that it all feels fake and stiff especially the way Kat spoke. Mary and her problem with Reeve is what really pushes the book forward, but just like with Kat, I had a hard time focusing on Mary and her life because it’s very dull and other than stalking people and doing…things, I couldn’t bring myself to care when something exciting happens to her. That is until the last chapter! It’s so creepy and exciting!

I’m actually shocked that I fell in love with Lillia in this book. Over the span of a few months, she’s changed and shed her innocent skin and became the person I was hoping she would become–a manipulator. I love it. Her character is a lot more developed and realistic not only proving that she has a good side but a bad one too that knows how to get whatever she wants. I also like for the most part, the writing style because it’s fun and very teenage-like. Even thought the relationship between the girls feels a bit stiff, I like it a lot. The way they interact with each other makes it relatable for other people to think about their own friendships and also, it’s sweet.

Something is just off about Fire With Fire.  It lacks the pranks and fun the other book had and two of the characters take the back seat for the better half of the novel. Nonetheless I liked it, there are many parts (mostly Lillia involved) are exciting and evil. The plan to get Reeve to experience what a broken heart feels like is brilliant and dark that also leads to something darker and life changing for just about everyone on the island.  I recommend this to anyone who has read the first one or anyone who likes Pretty Little Liars and enjoys teenage dramas that a little too sinister to be just fun pranks.

3 Clouds
3 Clouds

 

For quotes from this book, click here.

Book Review: The Dead and Buried by Kim Harrington

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The Dead and Buried by Kim Harrington

Publisher: Scholastic Point

Genre: Fantasy and young adult

Release Date: January 1, 2013

Pages: 295 (Hard Cover)

The Dead And Buried

 

Jade loves the house she’s just moved into with her family. She doesn’t even mind being the new girl at the high school: It’s a fresh start, and there’s that one guy with the dreamy blue eyes. . . . But then things begin happening. Strange, otherworldly things. Jade’s little brother claims to see a glimmering girl in his room. Jade’s jewelry gets moved around, as if by an invisible hand. Kids at school whisper behind her back like they know something she doesn’t.

Soon, Jade must face an impossible fact: that her perfect house is haunted. Haunted by a ghost who’s seeking not just vengeance, but the truth. The ghost of a girl who ruled Jade’s school — until her untimely death last year. It’s up to Jade to put the pieces together before her own life is at stake. As Jade investigates the mystery, she discovers that her new friends in town have more than a few deep, dark secrets. But is one of them a murderer?

(My Opinion)

All my life, I’ve wanted to meet a ghost. Unfortunately, I have yet to meet one unlike Jade who actually gets to meet one in her new house! But, The Dead and Buried is not all fun and games. It’s told to be a mystery young adult novel with horror mixed into the bunch. But this isn’t the case with it. Throughout the whole book, nothing feels intense or creepy or even the slightest bit of horrific happens that are supposed to be there. Even with it lacking, it’s still a fun read (Which it shouldn’t be but oh well.)

Jade is forced to help the ghost finally pass over by piecing together the clues for her. Only, there aren’t very many clues. There’s only about 2 or 3 with the exception of Kayla’s diary which actually tells readers close to nothing (important anyway). The Dead and Buried seems to put everything mainstream about snobby rich kids into the story. There’s the journal with all of its deep, dark secrets, the new girl who is instantly the outcast, who is also attracted to the ‘forbidden’ boy, there’s the love triangle for the new girl, the mean girls who hate her…must I go on? This really let me down because I was looking fr something new and exciting with ghosts. But, this is just the same story only told with ghosts.

With that being said, I do like a few things about this novel. Most of the characters are well written and fun to read about, especially Donovan because he seems to actually be the odd one out. The pacing of the novel is great too, nothing felt rushed or too slow.This is a nice, fun read but I can’t say anything more about it. I recommend this to anyone who likes light reads with a ghost element in it.

Three Clouds
Three Clouds

 

For quotes from this book, click here.

Book Review: School Spirits (School Spirits#1) by Rachel Hawkins

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School Spirits (School Spirits#1) by Rachel Hawkins 

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Genre: Fantasy and young adult

Release Date: May 14, 2013

Pages: 304 (Ebook)
School Spirits (School Spirits #1)

Fifteen-year-old Izzy Brannick was trained to fight monsters. For centuries, her family has hunted magical creatures. But when Izzy’s older sister vanishes without a trace while on a job, Izzy’s mom decides they need to take a break.

Izzy and her mom move to a new town, but they soon discover it’s not as normal as it appears. A series of hauntings has been plaguing the local high school, and Izzy is determined to prove her worth and investigate. But assuming the guise of an average teenager is easier said than done. For a tough girl who’s always been on her own, it’s strange to suddenly make friends and maybe even have a crush.

Can Izzy trust her new friends to help find the secret behind the hauntings before more people get hurt?

First of all, I would like to thank the Publisher, Disney-Hyperion  for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

(My Opinion)

I’ll be honest, I haven’t read the Hex Hall series (but I so want to) so I went into this book without much of a back story. With that being said, School Spirits is a good novel. It’s not the greatest nor is it the worst with the story mostly concentrating on Isolde “Izzy” Brannick and how she deals with a ghost case somewhere in Mississippi. From the beginning, the ending is pretty predictable, even the ‘bad guy’ is easy to spot the second they are introduced in the story. Rachel Hawkins could have done a much better job making it less predictable. But I do like most of the characters, especially Dexter, he’s so goofy.

Out of all the demon slayer type of books that I’ve read (which is a lot) School Spirits has to be one of my least favourites. There is just so much wrong with it other than its predictability. Finley is supposed to play quite a huge part in the novel but she doesn’t. Instead of finding clues and other things related to Finley’s disappearance, there’s only about ten pages devoted to her. The rest of the book is mostly just them missing her. I also don’t like how unrealistic the friendships are in the book. Izzy has been taught for fifteen years not to trust mortals yet, she throws all of those lessons out the window for people she’s only known for roughly two months? That’s insane and unbelievable. What’s even worse is that she tells them what/who she is and what she does because she thinks it’s a good idea. If her friends were supposed to know what she is, she would have told them in the beginning and not  near the end. Telling her friends that these monsters are real kind of defeats the purpose of keeping them safe and out-of-the-way. And the mother just kind of goes with it saying (and I’m paraphrasing this) “Okay! You can tell them all about what we do! They can come with us! Who cares what the council might think about humans knowing that monsters exist.” What kind of monster slayer says something like that?!

For me, I think that the romance moves pretty fast as well. It feels like Rachel Hawkins rushed the ending and stuffed as much lovey-dovey romance stuff in it as she could to make up for the quite disappointing ending. There isn’t much demon-slaying going on throughout the novel either. I wish there was to level out with the amount of unrealistic predictable things.

What I like about this book are some of the characters, like Dexter. There’s just something about a guy named Dexter that you have to love. Whether it’s his psychotic tendencies, his arrogance, or his goofy, hilarious jokes at the worst times imaginable, everyone loves a guy named Dexter.  He’s so funny, saying the worst things during intense moments that I can’t help but laugh. I also like the writing style because it’s quite fun and entertaining, helping the book create a chill, laid back feel. The relationship between the mom and Izzy for the most part is relatable. Their struggles not only with each other but with themselves shows just how broken people can be when a loved one is suddenly taken away from them.

Overall, School Spirits is an okay read, definitely for people who like a bit of supernatural things in their stories, but I don’t recommend it for people into demon-slaying books because there just isn’t enough of that going on in here. And although this is a fun, entertaining read, it isn’t very realistic or intense.

Three Clouds
Three Clouds

Song Of The Day#17-Plague By Seahaven

To be honest, I just like the beginning of this song. Don’t get me wrong, the whole song is really good but the beginning is the best part of this song for me. I love having friends who know what great music is.

Seahaven began in 2009 as four friends in Southern California who shared a passion for the post-punk and indie sensibilities. The band is from Torrance, California and is made up of James Phillips, Kyle Chadwick, Eric Findlay, and Michael Craver. Plague is off of their first EP, Ghost.

Plague by Seahaven is a song about being a prisoner inside yourself and needing help to set yourself free. It’s about having to decide who you are while there’s a war going on inside you that is brilliantly showing death and pain.

My favourite part is:

Satan sleeps inside my brain
And when he wakes he takes me far away.
He takes me to this place,
That I completely hate,
Where I’m a prisoner in my own body.

You can listen to Plague by Seahevn Here.

Lyrics are Here.