Monday, June 27, 2011

Book Review: Bloodroot, Amy Greene

The Plot: Myra Lamb is as wild and beautiful as the mountain she calls home.  Everyone admires her from afar, but none can come too close; until John Odom.  But when John tries to tame Myra’s spirit, the consequences are disastrous.  The curse laid on Myra’s family seems to be holding on strong.  Years before Myra was born, her great-aunt said the family would be cursed until a child with haint blue eyes was born.  When Myra was born with beautiful blue eyes, her grandmother was certain that the curse would be lifted.  But Myra is destined for a life of pain and heartache, just like the many generations before her.  Amy Greene’s Bloodroot is a heartbreaking tale of bad decisions, broken families, and the will to move on.

I simply could not put this book down.  It is a dark story, but so beautifully written that I didn’t want it to end.  Set in the mountains of Tennessee, the descriptions and dialog brought me to a place I’ve never been.  The characters and emotions were so real I felt as if the people of Bloodroot Mountain were my neighbors.  The storyline is very believable, with just enough curses and potions mixed in to allow the reader to decide if mountain magic really exists, or if some people are simply born unlucky.  The most unique part of the book, however, is the way the story is told.  Greene uses six different narrators, spanning three generations, to tell the tale.  And she does it in such a way that the reader doesn’t feel lost, but rather more involved in the story.  Fans of Wuthering Heights will love Bloodroot.  It has the same theme of all-consuming love for the wrong person.  But, without giving it away, I do have to say that I like the ending of Bloodroot better.  I give this book five stars. 

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Friday, June 17, 2011

Book Review: Accused, Kate Kaynak

The Plot:  Isaiah is finally dead, but the people of Ganzfield still aren’t safe.  Someone in the government knows about G-positives, and wants to use them as military weapons.  Maddie is detained for questioning in a series of mysterious murders, and when she doesn’t talk, she is tortured.  After she is finally released, Maddie has to tell the rest of the Ganzfield group that they are no longer safe, and they prepare to be attacked, again.  Meanwhile, Maddie still has to deal with her relationships with Trevor and her overly protective mother, help her friend Rachel deal with the birth of her baby and the death of her boyfriend, and try to regain her speech.

Like the rest of the Ganzfield books, Accused is a fun, light-hearted read.  I really like that we get to see the major drawbacks to having “superpowers.”  I’m sure most people have wished that they had an extra sense at some point; I know I have.  But the Ganzfield teens really struggle with their abilities.  It doesn’t make their lives easier at all. It is proof of Kaynak’s talent as an author that the characters in her books seem like normal people, despite their special abilities.  My biggest complaint is the sexual tension throughout the books.  I really don’t remember being quite that hormonal at seventeen, (perhaps because I didn’t know Trevor) and it detracts from the drama and danger surrounding Ganzfield.  I do, however, appreciate the fact that sex is not a casual thing in the series, and the problems of premarital sex are openly discussed.  My favorite part of Accused *minor spoiler* is Maddie and Trevor’s wedding.  It is one of the absolute sweetest things I’ve read in a long time.  Of course, the way the book ends makes it impossible not to read the next one in the series.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t come out for quite a while, so I guess I’ll just have to wait.  J

Friday, June 10, 2011

My Opinion Counts!

Okay, I know this is already on my blog, but its always cool to see your words on another page.  Click here to see a cooler version of my "Diary of a Part-Time Ghost review.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Book Review: Voices in the Dark, Catherine Banner

The Plot: Fifteen years after Cassius returns from England and reclaims his throne, Malonia is at war again.  Aldebaran has been murdered, magic is dying, and the country is unraveling from the inside out.  Anselm, now sixteen, struggles to hold his family together while the world falls down around them.  When his step-father is called up for service in the war, Anselm, now the man of the house, is left facing a mountain of debt, a sister who doesn’t understand why her Papa left, and a very pregnant mother.  Anselm is determined to hold as much of his old life together as possible. But his mother, Maria, and step-father, Leo, are each harboring dark secrets about the year of his birth.  When Anselm puts the pieces together and learns the truth about his father, it is more than he can handle.  Meanwhile, Juliette and Ashley, two teenagers in modern England, set out to find the truth about their own families, and why they don’t seem to fit in anywhere.
I enjoyed Voices in the Dark, the second book in Catherine Banner’s The Last Descendants trilogy much more than the first book.  It is more plot-driven, and Banner has definitely matured as a writer.  I love the way the book is set up as a series of stories on a long journey.  It works wonderfully to tie the multiple storylines together, without giving away the reason for the journey until the end of the book.  There were a few spots where the narrative seemed to drag a bit, and I felt that Banner spent too much time on details that ended up being completely irrelevant.  That being said, the characters were very believable in this book.  I especially enjoyed Anselm’s little sister, Jasmine.  She was the bright spot in a book about war and betrayal.  Anyone who liked Banner’s debut novel, The Eyes of a King, will love this book.  I’m torn on whether or not to finish the trilogy.  On one hand, I’d hate to never know how it ends.  On the other, Banner does a good job at creating a war-torn and bleak world.  As for right now, I need a break from Malonia.  On to something lighter!
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