Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Weird Girls / Sealed with a Curse (dual review)

The Weird Girls
by Cece Robson

When Celia's mom married the wrong man, a relative cursed all the unborn Wird sisters.  But the curse backfired, giving each girl certain magical powers that make them more than human and less than supernatural.

Celia can turn into a tigress and shift through anything solid.  Taran can manipulate electricity and people's memories. Shayna can make any metal or wood turn into a deadly weapon.  And Emme can heal most wounds and use telekinesis to move objects.

Between them, the sisters have been able to handle most of the things that have come their way.  And now that they've decided to settle down in Lake Tahoe, things finally seem to be going their way in the best way.

That is until they manage to tick off the top witch in town, along with her coven.

Now Celia has to take the witch down to protect her family, while also keeping herself alive.

Sealed with a Curse
by Cece Robson

Just moments after being cleared of murder, Celia and her sisters are called on to help destroy vampires who have become completely insane with bloodlust.  They are killing indiscriminately and in large numbers, which has caught the attention of the new werewolf pack in town.

Tensions between the Wird sisters and the pack run high to start and then become tense for whole new reasons as each of the girls find a were who makes her heart beat just a little bit faster.  Even Celia's found someone and she doesn't find guys easily.

And when it rains, it pours for Celia because one of the local vampire masters has also taken a fancy to her.

Between the vamp, the were, the bloodlusters, and her sisters, Celia's got more than she can handle.  May your life be interesting is always a dangerous thing to wish on others.

Final thoughts:  Overall, I'm a fan of supernatural urban lit and Robson definitely has some interesting stories to tell, but I found myself more than a little turned around at times.  Tracking the action was very difficult.  Every time there was a fight scene, it felt obvious that Robson knew what she was seeing, but she had trouble painting the picture for the reader.  I like Celia and her sisters and Aric was great, but I kept wondering about Celia's (literal) dream guy from the first book/novella.  Is that Aric or is that someone else who's going to show up later?  That interfered with me truly falling in love with the second book.

Rating: 4/5

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Every Day

Every Day
by David Levithan

Every day is a new day.

Every day is a new opportunity.

Every day is a new body..?

"A" has never been in the same body for longer than 24 hours.

"A" has never understood why this happens or how to control it.

"A" has never thought of living any other way.

Until Rhiannon.

When he wakes one day as her boyfriend, he realizes that he wants to be with her forever.

But how can you be with someone forever when you can't even be in the same body for more than a day?

Final thoughts:  This is a deep, thought-provoking book about what really makes one person love another.  A's love for Rhiannon makes him break all the rules he's made for himself over the years as he's grown up traveling from body to body (never the same body twice).  Their relationship is both sweet and weird at the same time.  Reading this one was difficult because it always felt like A was playing with fire and pushing his luck.  The saddest part was the end, not because it was sad, but because it felt unfinished, like there's another story and we're left with an almost-cliffhanger.

Rating: 3/5

Sunday, January 6, 2013


by Hannah Harrington

Chelsea Knot is horrible at keeping secrets.  She blabs everything she knows to pretty much everyone she knows.  No secret is safe.  Making out with your best friend's boyfriend? Wearing something hideous?  Shopping at the wrong store? Gay?

While drunk at a party, Chelsea reveals a secret and it leads to disastrous results.  

For the first time, she realizes that there are true consequences when she speaks.  After she reports what has happened to the police, she becomes the prime target of the very crowd who used to be her friends.  They begin a very deliberate campaign to punish her for telling the truth.

Because she can't trust her own words, she stops using them.  The school's biggest gossip takes a vow of silence.  And even though it upsets her parents and teachers, she is determined to keep her mouth shut.  She won't even defend herself from the slander and lies being thrown around about her.

Now Chelsea must fend off her former friends and try to find out who her real friends are, while also making peace with herself and her own past.

Final thoughts: Chelsea is familiar as a teen gossip who only does what she does because she hopes to keep her place with the "in crowd".  When she drunkenly outs a classmate and he is horribly beaten as a consequence, her personal path to redemption and forgiveness is interesting to follow.  While some of the moments seem forced and some things that happen seem a little too perfect, the overall story is done well and gives hope to readers who may be having difficulties speaking up and/or out.

Rating: 4/5

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Mercedes Thompson Series

Mercedes Thompson Series
by Patricia Briggs

Born to a single mother and left to be raised by a werewolf pack, Mercedes "Mercy" Athena Thompson has always been able to get herself into trouble, even when she's trying to stay out of it. 

Being a woman who can instantly shift into a coyote and back again can lead to that kind of thing.

At 16, the Alpha of the pack (who happened to also be the Alpha of all Alphas), convinced her to run away for her own good, though it meant she learned of a betrayal of and by one she loved.  Almost 15 years later, she's the owner of her own garage, a decent mechanic, and the neighbor of the local Alpha.

But the world isn't just werewolves and a shapeshifter; it's full of vampires and magical creatures called "fae".  That doesn't much bother Mercy, since she's been around them for years, but their troubles begin to affect her when she's asked to help with one mystery and eventually owes everyone else around her and must help with their problems, too.

Coyote is the ultimate trickster and Mercy's got to use every trick in the book.

Final thoughts:  I didn't review or book talk each one individually because I just read one after the other.  I honestly just couldn't stop myself.  Thank goodness for the Amazon gift card I got over the holidays, which paid for all the instant downloads on my Kindle.  There are some issues in each book, but the overall series is amazing.  I'm glad it took me this long to start it because it meant I got to read 6 books straight through (in about 3 days), but now I have to sit and wait for book 7.  Luckily, Briggs has another series started in the same universe with some of the same characters, so I have more books to try out.  Mercy may not have extreme snark, but she has a sense of self and personality that makes her a great character to read and her world is well drawn and exciting.

Rating:  each book 4 or 4.5 out of 5... the series - 5/5


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