Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Queen of the Dead - Stacey Kade

For some reason I thought this was going to be book one in the series and I was very wrong. Queen of the Dead is actually book two in Stacey Kade's A Ghost and a Goth series.

I was extremely confused when I started reading and I had a ton of questions going through my head. Thank God Stacey re-hashed a few things throughout the book because otherwise I probably would have quit reading.

The premise of the book is cool. Basically a goth guy can see ghosts and he just so happens to be stuck with the ghost of the girl who was the queen bee of their school. She was sent back from the white light (sometime during the first book) and is partnered with him.

I DO wish I would've read book one first because maybe I would've liked book two better. The first half of this book I was wondering what was going on and it was a major distraction for me. Then once I finally started getting into the book, I was almost finished. It seemed like things didn't pick up until maybe the last 75 pages or so for me. I never felt like I was invested in the characters, especially Will (the goth), but I did find myself a little interested in him finding out answers about his father.

Will was just kind of blah and other than being told he's goth from the series title, did not picture him that way.I really liked Alona because she seemed to have the most depth of the two. She had this tough exterior but she was kind of broken on the inside and there were times she didn't seem to like the fact that she was stuck with Will but she protected him. I definitely would have preferred for the book to be solely in her voice instead of the alternating POV that was given.

This wasn't a bad book and I most likely would have enjoyed it more if I had read the first book but as it is, I didn't and it wasn't my cup of tea.

Have you read this series? What did you think?

The Near Witch - Victoria Schwab

What happens when the tale you're told as a child comes true? In Victoria Schwab's debut novel, The Near Witch, Lexi Harris finds out.

When a stranger shows up in Lexi's village of Near and children start disappearing, the people gather their torches and pitchforks (ok, so not QUITE literally..but close) and set out to hunt him down.

Even though Lexi is told to let the men search, she goes off to find answers of her own. Upon meeting the stranger, who she names Cole, she believes he is not the one taking the children and sets of to clear his name before the unthinkable happens. Will she find the missing children before it's too late? Can she stop this from happening before her little sister becomes one of them?

This is one of those books I have been hearing about for a LONG time, so long in fact, I temporarily forgot that it isn't in stores yet when I was telling my mom I thought she'd enjoy it. Oops.

The writing was absolutely fantastic and there were a few times where I re-read a sentence because it was so beautifully worded and it just seemed magical. The descriptions made the book play out kind of like a movie in my head and the littlest things, like Lexi's little sister hopping around, were just so vivid I felt like I had seen it for myself. I thought the story was interesting and well told and was full of mystery, romance, conspiracy, with a little bit of creepy thrown in.

I loved Lexi as the main character. She was strong, fearless, determined, stood up for what she believed in, and was very confident, even when she wasn't feeling like it. The characters were well done and I don't know if it was intentional or not, but I got a small battle of the sexes vibe between everyone else outside of Lexi and Cole.

I don't want to say much more since it isn't out yet but I will say that I really enjoyed reading this and I hope you do too. Victoria did a wonderful job on her debut novel and if she figures out a way to bottle up some of her talent, I'll gladly take some.

I'll also be hosting an interview with Victoria in the next week or 2 so look for that as well as me gushing over meeting her and many other wonderful authors at the 2011 Decatur Book Festival. EEK! Only about 46 more days!

An ARC of The Near Witch was provided to me by Disney Publishing Worldwide and in no way sways my opinion of the book.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Uncommon Criminals - Ally Carter

Uncommon Criminals picks up about two months after Heist Society ends. We find out that Kat has struck out on her own to re-steal lost items and return them to their rightful owners. When she meets a woman who tells her Visily Romani sent her to Kat, Kat takes on the job to steal the Cleopatra Emerald.

This was as equally fun as its predecessor and I loved getting drawn deeper into Kat's world. I was wondering where the story was going to go when things were done so early on but I really liked the fact that a con was conned.

The whole time they were plotting on stealing the Cleopatra Emerald a second time, I was wondering how in the world they were going to do it when the mark knew who they were and was an expert con herself. Good times!

One thing that did kind of bother me about Kat was that she really has a hard time letting people help. She's definitely strong-willed and stubborn but she has a very hard time accepting the fact that her friends want to help her and be around her and I look forward to future books to see how she grows.

Hale still remains my favorite character with his witty remarks and his charm. I like the relationship Hale and Kat have because it kind of reminds me of that awkward high school phase where you like a boy but talk yourself out of the possibility that he could ever like you. That's another of Kat's flaws though, she sells herself short when it comes to anything that's not theft.

Kat's flaws are a huge part of why she works as a believable character. She definitely has trust issues, who wouldn't doing what she does, but when she trusts you, you become part of something bigger. A family.

Uncommon Criminals was a quick and fun read and I wish I didn't have to wait so long for the next installment.

Are you a fan of Ally Carter? What's your favorite book dealing with thieves?


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