Monday, December 17, 2012

Parallel Visions

Parallel Visions
by Cheryl Rainfield

All her life, Kate has had asthma that's so bad it could kill her at any moment.

All her life, Kate has had visions about the people around her.

All her life, Kate has only had those visions when she's in the middle of an asthma attack.

All her life, no one has believed her.

Until now.

Now there's Gil and he believes her.

But will that matter as her attacks become more frequent, more painful, and more deadly?

Will that matter as she watches her sister be beaten and murdered in those visions?

Final thoughts: The premise is cool, but the writing is sloppy and choppy.  The characters around Kate, especially her parents, keep changing.  They are completely inconsistent.  The dialogue is poorly written and unbelievable.  Kate's relationship with Gil doesn't seem organic, but rather forced to forward the plot.  I really wish this was better because the idea is fascinating.  It's too bad the execution is so poor.

Rating: 2/5

Friday, December 14, 2012

Model Spy

Model Spy
by Shannon Greenland

Kelly James may have an IQ of 191, but she can still make stupid decisions.  Socially awkward (and what 16 year-old about to graduate from college wouldn't be?) and really lonely, when Kelly is asked by a super-cute boy to help him find out the truth about his dad, she jumps at the chance.

And wouldn't you know it!  The one time she breaks a law (and a pretty big one - hacking the government's main database is really, really bad), she gets caught.

But before she ends up in jail, she's recruited by The Specialists.  Now on Team Two, Kelly has joined an elite group of teens with special talents like linguistics, martial arts, theft, and more.

Nicknamed Gigi (for "genius girl"), Kelly knows she has a LOT to learn about being a secret agent.  And with her first mission coming up, she doesn't have time to lose.

Can she save her fave guy's dad and the day all at the same time?

Final thoughts: Complete and total cotton candy.  It's the first in a series of quick-print books that's more formulaic and less quality.  Too many questions pop up from time to time.  If you can relax and go with the flow, it's a quick read.  If you can't, it will set your teeth on edge.

Rating: 3/5

Monday, December 3, 2012

Also Known As

Also Known As
by Robin Benway

Margaret/Maggie/Marg/Meg/Peggy/Margo/Madge has been in the spy business since birth.  Her parents are spies for the Collective and Maggie's been a part of it since her first original birth certificate (and many subsequently forged ones) were written.

With a dozen passports for a dozen different identities, Maggie has spent her entire life helping her parents complete missions.  As a lock picking prodigy, she's finally become so highly respected that she's even given her own assignment.

High school.

In fact, her task is to befriend a fairly good looking boy whose father is about to run a story that will not only out the Collective, but will name names and print pictures of Maggie and her entire family.  If she can't stop the story, her life will be in danger and her job will be gone.

Unfortunately, not even 16 years of life spent entirely as a spy can prepare Maggie for the high school social structure, the boredom of class, and the trials of making friends.

Final thoughts: Total cotton candy book.  It's completely unrealistic and silly in the extreme, though her teen angst and problems fitting in are believable.  The only real struggle was the ending.  I kept expecting a twist of some sort.  The ending was rushed and happened abruptly.  There was no real explanation about why the person had chosen to reveal the Collective's secret or the reason for Maggie's danger.  I needed more closure on that, but it was decent up to that point.

Rating: 4/5


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