Posts Tagged: Brenna Yovanoff

Monday, August 11, 2014

Review: Fiendish by Brenna Yovanoff

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Review: Fiendish by Brenna Yovanoff
Brenna Yovanoff
Genre: Mystery, Paranormal, YA
Publication date: August 14th 2014
by Razorbill

Clementine DeVore spent ten years trapped in a cellar, pinned down by willow roots, silenced and forgotten.

Now she’s out and determined to uncover who put her in that cellar and why.

When Clementine was a child, dangerous and inexplicable things started happening in New South Bend. The townsfolk blamed the fiendish people out in the Willows and burned their homes to the ground. But magic kept Clementine alive, walled up in the cellar for ten years, until a boy named Fisher sets her free. Back in the world, Clementine sets out to discover what happened all those years ago. But the truth gets muddled in her dangerous attraction to Fisher, the politics of New South Bend, and the Hollow, a fickle and terrifying place that seems increasingly temperamental ever since Clementine reemerged.
-A copy was provided by Penguin Group USA for review-

This was a straaaange book! But most importantly: it’s deliciously creepy!

Brenna delights us with some more of her gothic, morbid, yet marvelously fascinating storytelling in her newest release. Fiendish is compelling from the very first chapter. After a quick introduction to Clementine, a slight glimpse of who she was prior, we experience her entrapment inside this cellar, held in place by willow roots, while a decade passes. The cryptic but riveting manner with which the passing of time is described had me enchanted. It was, in a way, full of desperation and longing, though strangely beautiful. All of this occurs within the first few chapters, laying the foundation – and the promise – of an eccentric, highly original road to come. Once Clementine is set free, however, is when the real excitement begins, with magic and crafts and hellhounds and fiends and other ghastly things. The horrific entities are described with hair-raising detail, set within a landscape that is vividly painted throughout.

This is a plot and mystery driven novel. In addition to the alarming present happenings, there’s a mysterious past that Clementine has yet to unscramble, and a future that remains grimly uncertain. That said, the characters themselves, although not superficial, lack the charisma and density that I require to form a true connection. This is likely due to having to juggle a large secondary cast. Townsfolk, family, antagonists; each group involving a handful of characters. Still, I found a large cast for this story was a necessary part of making it all the more interesting; it’s a balance for which I was okay with losing some to win some. Besides, the mysterious plot is more than worth it. I loved the bizarre vibe throughout this whole ordeal: Ominous signs of a second reckoning, the irrepressible magic that seems to be fueled by Clementine, the hollow (a stretch of land where evil lurks) with its seductive danger, the history of this town and its fiends. It was, to put it simply, fan-freaking-tastic!

Also on the subject of balance, with all the eeriness and horror, I was glad to have some sweet moments of awkward, youthful romance to lighten things up. Don’t expect a passion-filled, all-encompassing love story. It’s a simple, yet sweet romance that leaves you smiling.

Much like Teeth by Hannah Moskowitz, and (Don’t You) Forget About Me by Kate Karyus Quinn, Fiendish is a kind of Magical Realism novel where magic is a reality that comes with no explanation for its existence, only explanations within it. If this is something you’re a fan of, along with horror and fast-paced mystery, this is one book you must not be without!

“It’s ash,” I whispered, holding out my hands to the awful dust falling all around me. “The sky is burning.”

4 Stars
4 Hot Espressos

Waiting on Wednesday (96)

Waiting on Wednesday (96)

Posted by on 10/16/2013 • 34 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:

A new Brenna Yovanoff!! Yay! Paper Valentine is the only one I read from her but it was so well written – kind of gothic-y and creepy. I loved it. But even if it wasn’t an author that I know could rock it, this premise sounds right up my alley! And I mean, look at that cover!

ARC-Apalooza Giveaway!

Posted by on 01/11/2013 • 19 Comments

Courtesy of Penguin Canada, I have three gorgeous extra ARC copies of Prodigy, Paper Valentine, and The Ruining for giveaway. Thanks to Jenni of Alluring Reads for the fabulous giveaway name! And don’t forget to stop by the blog in the upcoming weeks for tour stops on all of these pretties! Here are the pretties:

Prodigy Marie Lu Series: Legend, #2 Publication date: January 29th 2013by Putnam Juvenile      

June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request—June and Day must…

Review: Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff

Posted by on 01/04/2013 • 44 Comments

Paper Valentine Brenna Yovanoff Publication date: January 8th 2013 by Razorbill

The city of Ludlow is gripped by the hottest July on record. The asphalt is melting, the birds are dying, petty crime is on the rise, and someone in Hannah Wagnor’s peaceful suburban community is killing girls.

For Hannah, the summer is a complicated one. Her best friend Lillian died six months ago, and Hannah just wants her life to go back to normal. But how can things be normal when Lillian’s ghost is haunting her bedroom, pushing her to investigate the mysterious string of murders? Hannah’s just trying to understand why her friend self-destructed, and where she fits now that Lillian isn’t there to save her a place among the social elite. And she must stop thinking about…

Waiting on Wednesday (42)

Posted by on 06/27/2012 • 74 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:

Paper Valentine Brenna Yovanoff Release date: January 8th, 2013 by Razorbill  

PAPER VALENTINE, in which a girl haunted by the troubled ghost of her best friend finds herself sucked into a darkly mesmerizing string of murders, in which a serial killer who leaves a paper-heart ‘valentine’ on his victims’ bodies draws ever closer.

More books by Brenna:

Isn’t this cover so different? I love it it’s so intriguing. Murder mysteries have always been my favorite kind of books. For years before I went into YA, it was all that I read. So yes, I must have this! 😀 I actually haven’t read…