Monday, March 9, 2015

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

Bone Gap
Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
Pub: 3/3/2015
Pgs: 368
ARC Received by Edelweiss

This story was awesome.  I really thought it would fall flat, I had no expectations for it to fulfill so much by the end. 

Finn isn't anyone's favorite.  People of Bone Gap know him as the resident space cadet.  It's true that Finn can sometimes be in the clouds, that he doesn't look you in the eyes, and doesn't have a clue; but it turns out that there is a possible explanation for that.  It's also hard for him to compete with his brother, Sean.  Everyone loves Sean, he's big, smart, and endearing.  After being abandoned by their mother, someone happens to pop up unexpectedly, enter Roza.  Roza is from Poland, she arrived on the boy's farm bloody, bruised, and confused.  The boys tend to her, and pretty soon they are a small family, until tragedy strikes.  This is the point our story begins.

Everyone in town blame Finn for Roza's disappearance.  He was the last person to see her, and his description of the man that took her does nothing to help law enforcement.  In fact many would say that his poor description can only lead to one possibility: Roza left on her own.

This story follows the town of Bone Gap through Finn, Roza, and other's eyes.  The nuances of a small town, secrets, realistic explanation woven in almost a fairy tale manner are all combined in this great book that will keep you reading to find out how Finn saves the princess.

4 stars.  Thanks Edelweiss. 

Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver
Pub: 3/10/2015
Pgs: 368
ARC Received by Edelweiss
Vanishing Girls

Vanishing Girls is the sort of story that compels you to read it all in one sitting.  There are too many loose strands hanging about, and when you think you are reading a realistic YA book about sisters and the cost of growing up -bam- you're hit with the reality that this book is not what it seems. 

Nick and Dara are close siblings that couldn't more different if they tried.  Nick is the responsible, reliable, and studious daughter; while Dara is the social butterfly, pushes buttons, and gets into too much trouble.  Both deal with jealousy of each other in their own ways, but tend to be unified by their love of each other.  That is, until their best friend and neighbor Parker begins dating one of them.  After a terrible fight, and a terrible accident both sisters stop relying each other, and recover in separate homes. 

I really enjoyed the twist, because like I mentioned I thought this would be a conventional story about two sisters.  What ended up happening what that I was wrapped up in this psychological thriller, by the end.  I liked it, but I didn't love it.  It needed more.  After I accepted the twist, I thought about what I had read in the beginning and it didn't gel.  There were things that could not be right if you accepted the twist, i.e. text messages.  I just wish it was a bit cleaner in the twist.
3 out of 5 stars.  Thanks Edelweiss.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Bargaining by Carly Anne West

The BargainingThe Bargaining by Carly Anne West
Pub: 2/17/2015
Pgs: 384
ARC Received by Edelweiss

The Bargaining is one of those books that makes you think about what goes bump in the night, about strange myths and legends, and frankly about making a deal with the Devil.  Penny has had a pretty bad few months.  Her friend is dead, and Penny feels so guilty that her friend's ghost is haunting her.  It isn't clear in the beginning why Penny feels guilty, but it's quickly understood that this experience has changed her profoundly.  Her mother cannot deal with it anymore and decides to ship her off to her father's house.  Now at her father's Penny has been notified that she will be spending her Summer a few hours away with her stepmom reconstructing a house she just purchased with only her camera and a journal full of unsent letters as her company.

Penny knows immediately there is something wrong with the house and with the surrounding woods.  The town folks are not very welcoming either, when they find out her stepmom has purchased the old Carver House.  It almost seems like there is a deadly secret and they wish to push these new folks out of town.  Almost instantly, on the first night, Penny is visited by a ghost of a young boy who claims he wants to show her something.  What Penny sees, hears, and understands are puzzle pieces to a very morbid and dark story.  Enter Miller, the young general store owner who has a connection to the house.  He knows more than he is willing to share.  After some more visits and investigation Penny realizes that she is in over her head and that these secrets that lie in this dead town.

Such a creepy story.  I know I gave it 3.5 stars but it's one of those stories that even with all it's faults makes you speed through it just to know, just so that you're not stuck in this horrific little world built by the author.  I wanted to know if Rae was a figment of Penny's imagination because of her guilty, or if Rae was really a ghost.  I wanted to know what happened to Miller's brother, and the rest of the kids who were lost in the woods.  I wanted Penny and her stepmom to leave that place.  I wanted so much... this book just had me constantly wanting more information and more creepiness.

3.5 stars.  Thanks Edelweiss.

All That Burns by Ryan Graudin

All That Burns (All That Glows, #2)
All That Burns by Ryan Graudin
Pub: 2/10/2015
Pgs: 464
ARC received by Edelweiss

I originally did not like this story when it first came out.  I liked the changes, the addition of royalty and giving up magic for love, and obviously the fairies.  I didn't like the ridiculous love story.  I don't mean I couldn't get behind the impossibility of it, after all we are dealing with fairies; however, I just couldn't deal with the insta-love and then the continuation of girly love language in everything.  I almost felt like it was written by a 12 year old girl. 

This book did tell us a little bit of a different story.  While the lovey-dovey sickness that contaminated the first novel was still there, the addition of King Arthur's story, the "real" reason for Guinevere's betrayal, and Annabelle's love story all made this book worth it.  Emrys and Richard were still annoying, and frankly Emrys isn't as strong as she pretends to be or even as others pretend she is.  We can chalk it up to spells that influenced her, but in reality she's been this way since the beginning.  Due to the additions of Annabelle and Guinevere's stories I give this book 3 stars.