Saturday, September 29, 2012

Death and the Girl Next Door

Death and the Girl Next Door
by Darynda Jones

It's the ten-year anniversary of the disappearance of Lorelai's parents and she's definitely not taking it well.  Her friends, Glitch and Brooklyn, are there to help her out with comfort and corny behavior.

However, things get complicated with the school recluse, Cameron, starts following Lor everywhere.

And it gets even weirder when Jared, the hottest guy ever to walk the earth, shows up and seems to have a strange connection to Lor, especially after he saves her life.

But Cameron and Jared have a history and connection of their own, and it definitely is not friendly.  Repeated drawn out battles leave both bruised and battered, though they seem to have a strange ability to heal very quickly.

Now all the odd things that have happened to Lorelei over the years may soon be explained; but does she really want them to be?

Final thoughts:  I'm a fan of Darynda Jones and her work with the Charley Davidson novels and her first foray into young adult novels doesn't disappoint.  I really like the bond between Lorelai and her friends.  They have great chemistry and a sense of humor that matches my own.  My only real issue is that this story is very similar to her other series.  It's actually VERY close with the lead female being magical on her own without knowing how or why and a supernatural (and extremely hunky) guy being completely captivated by her.  I think I'd like this much more if I wasn't already a big fan of the other series.  If I didn't know this story already, it would be a winner.

Rating: 4/5

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Love Unscripted

Love Unscripted
by Tina Reber

Ryan Christensen, newest celebrity sensation and star of the hottest movie trilogy franchise in recent history, is in a tiny town in Rhode Island to film the second movie.  He never wanted stardom; he just wanted to act.

Taryn Mitchell is a pub owner in that tiny town who is probably the only woman in America who hasn't seen the first movie and has never read the books on which they are based.  She can't figure out what all the fuss is about, but doesn't mind the extra money that comes in from all the fans in the area.

When Ryan almost literally crashes into Taryn's life, the two find each other and discover they have more than just a little chemistry.

Now all they need is the patience and honesty to trust each other, while also keeping away from the paparazzi.

Final thoughts:  It's Twilight mixed with Notting Hill with a touch of Fifty Shades of Grey added... and it's not good.  It appears to be Reber's fantasy about meeting and falling in love with Robert Pattinson while he was filming the Twilight series.  "He doesn't really love his co-star!  All the tabloids are full of lies.  If he just met me, he'd fall instantly head over heels and we'd get married and live happily ever after."  Ironically, Reber has a character just like that IN the book.  On top of that serious problem is the fact that it goes on and on and on.  Did she not have an editor?  I read the ARC from NetGalley, so maybe the hundreds of errors, fragment sentences, typos, and repetitive statements will get fixed (though I doubt it).  Much of what she writes doesn't make sense.  Analogies don't work.  And the whining... OMG, the WHINING!!!  "You've got to trust me!" "I DO trust you."  "Are you sure you trust me, because it doesn't look like it." "I trust you. Geez!" "I've told you everything." "I believe you and trust you.... Hey!  What about this?!?!"  "Oops! Forgot about that.  But you still should trust me."  ACCCKKK!!!!  And, finally, the time issue.  Reber cannot convey the passage of time.  Sometimes a day takes pages and pages and sometimes you think it's the evening of one day and you suddenly discover that it's three weeks later.  Avoid.  Please avoid.

Rating: 1/5

Sunday, September 2, 2012


by Rachel Cohn

Elysia has just emerged.  

She is the first truly successful teenaged clone.

She is a Beta.

She has been cloned from the body of a recently dead teen and created to serve the humans of the island of Demesne.  She is not meant to have feelings or want things for herself; she is meant to serve.

When her term of service is up, she will be terminated.  And, in the beginning, she's OK with that.  But as time passes, she develops more and more feelings, remembers more and more of her First's past, and wants more and more things (like mac and cheese, chocolate, and love).

She also realizes that there are few things that her owners want from her that she doesn't want to do.  But she's a clone; she is meant to serve.

However, not every human thinks that clones should be slaves and they are headed Elysia's way.

Final Thoughts: **SPOILER ALERT**
I tried and tried to feel something for Elysia, but I just couldn't.  Her evolution over the course of the book isn't believable and her relationships with others are confusing.  Things make sense in the beginning, but about 2/3 in, things get weird.  Personalities change.  Some of the things that really bother me are:
1) The only way Elysia's "love" feels anything is when he's high, so Elysia makes it her goal to get Tahir drugs as often as possible so that he'll feel something for her.  It bugs me that there's an implicit statement here about addicts and druggies. "If drugs make him love you, then drugs are ok."
2) She's raped and she murders her rapist in a strange set of events, but she gets pregnant from the rape (and pregnancy among clones is supposed to be impossible - I figured she had no eggs or uterus, but I guess that didn't occur to the greatest scientific minds?  They just assumed the clones couldn't get pregnant?).  And then, the same man who saves her life and is fighting to give equal rights to clones insists that she has to carry the rape-baby that she doesn't want.  She shouldn't have to serve others, but she must carry the baby she does not want, did not ask for, and that was conceived in violence?  There's a scary Pro-Life vibe there, especially troublesome in today's political climate.
3) Elysia comes off as kind of a slut near the end because, while she doesn't love Alex, but does love Tahir, she goes ahead and does the "mighty mighty" with Alex because he's there and Tahir isn't.
4) Even with the "surprise" ending (which wasn't much of a surprise), it's pretty easy to see where the other two books in the Annex Trilogy will go.  Having that much telegraphed is frustrating.

Rating: 2/5


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