Monthly Archives:: August 2012

Friday, August 31, 2012

Review: Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

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Unspoken
Sarah Rees Brennan
Series: The Lynburn Legacy, #1
Production date: September 11th 2012
by Random House Books for Young Readers

 

Kami Glass is in love with someone she’s never met—a boy she’s talked to in her head since she was born. This has made her an outsider in the sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale, but she has learned ways to turn that to her advantage. Her life seems to be in order, until disturbing events begin to occur. There has been screaming in the woods and the manor overlooking the town has lit up for the first time in 10 years. . . . The Lynburn family, who ruled the town a generation ago and who all left without warning, have returned. Now Kami can see that the town she has known and loved all her life is hiding a multitude of secrets—and a murderer. The key to it all just might be the boy in her head. The boy she thought was imaginary is real, and definitely and deliciously dangerous.

*A copy was provided by Random House Children’s Books for review purposes*

A tale filled with magic, thrill, romance, and charm, Unspoken is a unique Gothic mystery that, if only I could have clicked with its characters, I might have greatly enjoyed. And as I seem to be in the minority on this one, I think fans of Gothic novels should definitely give it a try as it does have good writing and a very creative concept.

While most of the Gothic novels I have come to love have been fairly slow paced – ie. The Book of Blood and Shadow and Long Lankin – I found that Unspoken did not convey quite enough of a Gothic atmosphere or creepy factor to make up for the slower development. It does start out with a very decent pace, but I found the first three quarters of the book is spent with Kami while she goes around gathering clues to find a killer, yet she’s too occupied with her complicated feelings towards Jared, sometimes Ash, to focus on finding answers. I’m sure if I would have been completely immersed in these characters and their unusual connection I would have found this a lot more compelling. Sadly none of these people really spoke to me, making the book feel very long winded. The off-putting dialogue, or maybe their bland personalities, halted me from developing any sort of connection with them.

With a British setting, we get interactions that are a little different than what you would expect in North America – or at least I was told lots of it were a part of the British culture. I could deal with the humor and wit – I actually quite enjoyed that aspect – but I could not get used to the flow of their conversations or the way they sometimes interacted with each other. Kami has an awkward personality, she talks very formally at times, making bizarre comments with strange conversational shifts that comes off as unnatural. For example, during a casual conversation she asks her date: “So… tell me about the difficulties in your family”. Who talks like this? I was hoping it would grow on me, but unfortunately it never did and I kept cringing whenever these people started conversing.

Even though the characters failed to entice me, the plot did give me a few chills and saved it from being a complete loss. We have a freaky manor, a strange family who everyone seems to be terrified of, and a town full of secrets. Plus, Kami has been talking to a voice in her head her whole life. Is he real? Or is she crazy? Being right up my alley, this setting easily grabbed me from the first page. If it wasn’t for the slow, romantically inclined telling, it could have easily become a 5-star favorite. When we do get some answers there are a lot of unexpected turns that I would not have predicted. However, when it came to the big climactic ending – the reveal of the killer – I had already been suspecting this person for a while so it came as no surprise for me, thus negatively affecting the intended impact. The events following this up to the ending were at least a little more unforeseeable, closing on a surprising note that makes me curious for book 2 regardless of my qualms.

Unspoken is a creepy and quirky read that has a lot of potential to garner fans who will absolutely fall for it. Unfortunately I wasn’t quite as impressed as many others; when I don’t care about the characters, it’s hard to care for the rest, but I still found it to be an OK read.

2 Espressos

Review: Silver by Talia Vance

Posted by on 08/31/2012 • 0 Comments

SilverTalia VanceSeries: Bandia, #1Publication date: September 8th 2012by Flux

 

Brianna has always felt invisible. People stare right past her, including the one boy she can’t resist, Blake Williams. But everything changes at a house party where Brianna’s charm bracelet slips off and time stands still. In that one frozen, silver moment, Blake not only sees her, he recognizes something deep inside her she’s been hiding even from herself.

Discovering she is descended from Danu, the legendary Bandia of Celtic myth, Brianna finds herself questioning the truth of who she is. And when she accidentally binds her soul to Blake, their mutual attraction becomes undeniable.

But Blake has his own secret, one that could prove deadly for them both.

Bound together by forbidden magic, Brianna and Blake find…

Review: Enclave by Ann Aguirre

Posted by on 08/30/2012 • 35 Comments

EnclaveAnn AguirreSeries: Razorland, #1Publication date: April 12th 2011by Feiwel & Friends

 

New York City has been decimated by war and plague, and most of civilization has migrated to underground enclaves, where life expectancy is no more than the early 20s. When Deuce turns 15, she takes on her role as a Huntress, and is paired with Fade, a teenage Hunter who lived Topside as a young boy. When she and Fade discover that the neighboring enclave has been decimated by the tunnel monsters—or Freaks—who seem to be growing more organized, the elders refuse to listen to warnings. And when Deuce and Fade are exiled from the enclave, the girl born in darkness must survive in daylight, in the ruins of a city whose population has dwindled to…

Waiting of Wednesday (51)

Posted by on 08/29/2012 • 48 Comments

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.  My pick this week:

Dr. Frankenstein’s Daughters Suzanne Weyn Release date: January 2013by Scholastic Press

A new generation is creating a monster….

Doctor Victor Frankenstein’s previously unacknowledged beautiful, intelligent twin daughters (from an early marriage when he was a student) have come to Frankenstein’s Castle to claim it as their inheritance.

Shortly thereafter they learn that a serial killer is on the loose. They try to ignore this — Gretchen takes up her father’s work, while Ingrid throws lavish parties. Gretchen and Ingrid form a love triangle with a young naval officer with a debilitating disease. Though he loves Ingrid, he agrees to work with Gretchen…

Review: Undead by Kirsty McKay

Posted by on 08/28/2012 • 31 Comments

UndeadKirsty McKaySeries: Undead, #1Publication date: September 1st 2012by The Chicken House

 

Out of sight, out of their minds: It’s a school-trip splatter fest and completely not cool when the other kids in her class go all braindead on new girl Bobby.

The day of the ski trip, when the bus comes to a stop at a roadside restaurant, everyone gets off and heads in for lunch. Everyone, that is, except Bobby, the new girl, who stays behind with rebel-without-a-clue Smitty.

Then hours pass. Snow piles up. Sun goes down. Bobby and Smitty start to flirt. Start to stress. Till finally they see the other kids stumbling back.

But they’ve changed. And not in a good way. Straight up, they’re zombies. So the wheels on the bus better…

Review: Origin by Jessica Khoury

Posted by on 08/27/2012 • 39 Comments

OriginJessica KhouryPublication date: September 4th 2012by Razorbill

 

Pia has grown up in a secret laboratory hidden deep in the Amazon rain forest. She was raised by a team of scientists who have created her to be the start of a new immortal race. But on the night of her seventeenth birthday, Pia discovers a hole in the electric fence that surrounds her sterile home—and sneaks outside the compound for the first time in her life.

Free in the jungle, Pia meets Eio, a boy from a nearby village. Together, they embark on a race against time to discover the truth about Pia’s origin—a truth with deadly consequences that will change their lives forever.

*A copy was provided by Penguin Canada for review purposes*

Reminiscent of Lost, Origin takes…

Xpresso Weekly: Stacking the Shelves (18)

Posted by on 08/26/2012 • 71 Comments

Xpresso Weekly is my edition of Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga’s Reviews featuring the books I got this week, and I also mention blog news/happenings of the past week. This week at Xpresso Reads

Hi lovely people! So school is almost here again. For me, that means the end of summer which is depressing so we won’t talk about it, k? I had a super busy week on the blog here so let’s see if you missed something. The Defiance Blog Tour made a stop on Tuesday, you can check my review and CJ’s favorite movies. And on Friday I had the Authors Are Rockstars tour stop by, find out who my rockstar is! 😉 I also posted the cover reveal for Timeless by Michelle Madow which includes an…

Review: Spark by Brigid Kemmerer

Posted by on 08/25/2012 • 28 Comments

SparkBrigid KemmererSeries: Elemental, #2Publication date: August 28th 2012by K-Teen

 

Gabriel Merrick plays with fire. Literally.

Sometimes he can even control it. And sometimes he can’t. Like the fire that killed his parents.

Gabriel has always had his brothers to rely on, especially his twin, Nick. But when an arsonist starts wreaking havoc on their town, all the signs point to Gabriel. Only he’s not doing it.

More than Gabriel’s pride is at stake — this could cost him his family, maybe his life. And no one seems to hear him. Except a shy sophomore named Layne, a brainiac who dresses in turtlenecks and jeans and keeps him totally off balance. Layne understands family problems, and she understands secrets. She has a few of her own.