Posts Tagged: Darynda Jones

Monday, September 10, 2012

Review: Death and the Girl Next Door

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Death and the Girl Next Door
Darynda Jones
Series: Darklight, #1
Publication date: October 2nd 2012
by St. Martin’s Press


Ten years ago, Lorelei’s parents disappeared without a trace.  Raised by her grandparents and leaning on the support of her best friends, Lorelei is finally beginning to accept the fact that her parents are never coming home.  For Lorelei, life goes on.

High school is not quite as painful as she thinks it will be, and things are as normal as they can be.  Until the day the school’s designated loner, Cameron Lusk, begins to stalk her, turning up where she least expects it,  standing outside her house in the dark, night after night.  Things get even more complicated when a new guy—terrifying, tough, sexy Jared Kovach—comes to school.  Cameron and Jared instantly despise each other and Lorelei seems to be the reason for their animosity.  What does Jared know about her parents?  Why does Cameron tell Jared he can’t have Lorelei?  And what will any of them do when Death comes knocking for real?

*A copy was provided by Macmillan for review purposes*
 I became a big fan of Darynda Jones when I read her adult series that proceeded to make me giggle spontaneously for days. Hearing about her new YA novel, Death and the Girl Next Door, prompted a lot of squealing. Within the first 20 pages, I already had taken note of a handful of awesome quotable lines; I knew I was in for a good time!

Lorelei’s parents have mysteriously disappeared, and now she seems to have a stalker… or two. Lorelei, as I already expected from Darynda’s characters, is witty and smart, and she can hold her own, which is always a plus to create a character that is easy to root for. She also has two fabulous best friends who are lively, supportive, and provide us with plenty of humoristic banter. Now the boys… Cameron and Jared – both hot, both uniquely compelling, both defensive towards Lorelei. Who else automatically thinks Love Triangle? You don’t have anything to worry about, however, this book is actually void of any love triangle. Regardless if this is good news to you or not, you can look forward to a sexy, steamy, and swoon-worthy romance.

These boys are not without secrets. Once we get a glimpse at what Jared’s powers are, a gazillion questions arise: About his abilities, Cameron’s strong dislike towards him – basically, just what the heck is happening. I found it exceedingly interesting, unquestionably original, but I was dying for answers; it takes a while before details are finally given up. I was expecting Lorelei, when observing a very surreal scene, to scream for answers, no, demand answers. She doesn’t, which was surprising for her character and a little frustrating. She was obviously in some sort of shock and worrying about the boy’s injuries, but I still felt like the information was being dragged out needlessly. Cameron makes a huge deal about how Jared does not belong here and is dangerous, he also keeps calling him an “it”, yet he refuses to answer any questions. You know, like someone who shows off that they’re “in the know” and you’re not. Maybe I’m simply too impatient, but this is how it came off. 

When we eventually get the inside scoop, we’ve got an incredibly unique spin on death, the angel of death, and how Lorelei fits into all of this. Knowing the theme of the plot, there is some mention of God and religion but it’s kept light and pertinent to the story. This is all followed by thrilling twists and turns, one in particular I found myself stupefied by how awesome and fascinating it was. It’s also one that I look forward to exploring in the following installment, which promises to be positively exciting.

Entertaining, unique, and down-right sexy, Death and the Girl Next Door is an absolute must read! The characters are convincing, their relationships and surroundings are realistic, and the parents are present – which I was particularly pleased with. It’s not as persistently sarcastic as her adult series, but there’s plenty of humoristic, sassy dialogue. For Darynda’s first foray in the Young Adult genre I was very satisfied and I’m convinced that fans will undoubtedly enjoy it.

Now to end with requisite Darynda quotables:

“We can’t fling short jokes at each other when we’re all short. It’s just not effective.”
-Quoted from the uncorrected proof
“Few things were more disturbing than sticky fingers. Forest fires, perhaps. And people who claimed to have been abducted by aliens.”
-Quoted from the uncorrected proof
4 Hot Espressos

Blogoversary Celebration Day 2: Now & Then

Posted by on 09/10/2012 • 46 Comments

Welcome to day 2 of my blogoversary celebration. Since yesterday was just the launch/announcement, today is the first actual post and it’s going to be about what kind of year I had; where I’ve been, what happened, what changed.

Then This adventure all started on September 9th, 2011 when I started Xpresso Reads and posted for the very first time *sniff*. It’s safe to say I had no idea what it all entailed. I had been reviewing on Goodreads for a year, and before that I was using some lame Facebook App for a couple years. So I wasn’t new to reviewing, but blogging was a whole new world for me. I had heard of book bloggers but I didn’t know much about what it was like to have…

Review: Third Grave Dead Ahead

Posted by on 01/26/2012 • 27 Comments

Third Grave Dead Ahead(Charley Davidson, #3) Darynda JonesRelease date: January 31st, 2012by St. Martin’s Press

Goodreads / Purchase

Grim reaper extraordinaire. Whatever. Charley Davidson is back! And she’s drinking copious amounts of caffeine to stay awake because, every time she closes her eyes, she sees him: Reyes Farrow, the parthuman, part-supermodel son of Satan. Yes, she did imprison him for all eternity, but come on. How is she supposed to solve a missing persons case, deal with an ego-driven doctor, calm her curmudgeonly dad, and take on a motorcycle gang hellbent on murder when the devil’s son just won’t give up?

*A copy was provided by St. Martin’s Press for review purposes*

“Death comes to those who wait. And to those who don’t. So either way…” -Quote from Third…

Waiting on Wednesday (20)

Posted by on 01/25/2012 • 66 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:

Death and the Girl Next Door                                     Darynda Jones                                     Release date: October, 2012 by St. Martin’s Press Add it to your Goodread

Things get turned upside down for sophomore Lorelei MacAlister when the Angel of Death starts high school in her small town. What she doesn’t know is that she has been slated to die. It’s simply her time. And Death has been sent to do the deed. But when she touches him, when she peers into his eyes and reaches into his heart, he realizes she is more than what he was led to believe, and he disobeys his orders. He brings…

Cover Reveal: Night Sky, Blind Spot, Predestined, Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet

Posted by on 01/20/2012 • 17 Comments

Night Sky Jolene Perry Release date: March 1st, 2012 by Tribute Books Add it to your Goodreads

After losing Sarah, the friend he’s loved, to some other guy, Jameson meets Sky. Her Native American roots, fluid movements, and need for brutal honesty become addictive fast. This is good. Jameson needs distraction – his dad leaves for another woman, his mom’s walking around like a zombie, and Sarah’s new boyfriend can’t keep his hands off of her.

As he spends time with Sky and learns about her village, her totems, and her friends with drums – she’s way more than distraction. Jameson’s falling for her fast.

But Sky’s need for honestly somehow doesn’t extend to her life story – and Jameson just may need more than his new girl…

Review: Second Grave on the Left by Darynda Jones

Posted by on 09/30/2011 • 5 Comments

Second Grave on the Left (Charley Davidson, #2) Darynda Jones First published August 16th, 2011 St. Martin’s Press

When Charley is rudely awakened in the middle of the night by her best friend who tells her to get dressed quickly and tosses clothes out of the closet at her, she can’t help but wonder what Cookie’s up to. Leather scrunch boots with a floral miniskirt? Together? Seriously? Cookie explains that a friend of hers named Mimi disappeared five days earlier and that she just got a text from her setting up a meet at a coffee shop downtown. They show up at the coffee shop, but no Mimi. But Charley finds a message on the bathroom wall. Mimi left a clue, a woman’s name. Mimi’s husband explains that his wife…

Review: First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

Posted by on 09/23/2011 • 4 Comments

First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, #1) Darynda Jones First published February 1st, 2011

Charley sees dead people. That’s right, she sees dead people. And it’s her job to convince them to ‘go into the light’. But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (i.e. murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an Entity who has been following her all her life…and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely.

“You rented the apartment with a dead guy in the corner?” I shrugged. “I wanted the apartment, and I figured I could cover him up with a…