Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Strange Case of Finley Jayne By, Kady Cross

The Strange Case of Finley Jayne, is a short story the gives the reader a background story to how Finley Jane becomes a bodyguard-detective.  Within the backdrop of a steampunk inspired world, the reader is introduced to Finley Jane, a strong willed, charismatic woman.  Recently fired from her position as a servant, due to her inability to control her temper Finley must find new employment.  Finley isn't like other women; this allows her to use her extraordinary abilities to become a steampunk superhero.  The world Cross has created is loveable and engrossing.  I would love to travel there and have tea or coffee, with her colorful characters.  References to classical gothic literature are sprinkled throughout this tale, creating a parallel universe where classic meets steam-powered modern inventions.  I look forward to reading other books written by Kady Cross, and recommend anyone who enjoys steampunk, to brew a kettle of tea, grab some biscuits and cucumber sandwiches and give this short story a go.

Devil in the Corner By, Patricia Elliott

I absolutely loved Devil in the Corner; it's not often that I finish a 400-page book in a day.  With mystery, romance, murder, laudanum, orphans, unknown relatives, arsenic, penniless artists, unrequited love, and the fear of destitution, Devil in the Corner is one modern day gothic novel that will not disappoint.  The pace of the novel is similar to the classics, which may be too slow for people with a taste for modern literature.  I found it to be original and that it did not mimic the classics too heavily or refer to them as a way to keep the story interesting. I assume that Devil in the Corner is meant for a young adult audience, due to the fact it is published by Hodder Children's Books.  Even though this novel is geared towards youth groups it doesn't lack, Devil in the Corner can be enjoyed by young adults and adults.  Maude is orphaned at a young age, forcing her to quit school and find a way to support herself; Maud is forced to take positions as a governess.  Luckily a cousin, Juliana, locates Maud and invites her to live with her.  Juliana keeps Maud in locked away, forbidding her from having suitors constantly threatening to turn Maud out, leaving her to certain destitution.  Conflicts arise, distrust, madness, rebellion, and jealously lead to the perfect environment for murder and betrayal.  Please check out Devil in the Corner, especially if you enjoy classic gothic novels.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Don't Even Think About It By,Sarah Mlynowski

Don't Even Think About It, is about a group of New York high school students who develop a side effect, ESP, from a flu shot administered at school.  The characters go through the antics of youth with the ability to read each other's minds, no more secrets, no more inner dialog, everything is out in the open, everyone-knows-everyone's secrets.  This was a really fun read; the dynamics of the different personalities was great.  Friendships are tested, secret crushes revealed, lies are brought to the surface; with the ability to look under the mask some of their fellow students wear, the possibilities are endless.  Just think about how many bad relationships, and heartache could be avoided with this ability.  This book also contains character growth as some of the characters realize that their anxieties aren't founded.  There is mention of drug use, and sexual situations, these do not happen in the present moment and I do not feel like the author promotes them in anyway, but because the age group is young adult I feel like it must be mentioned in case parents are buying this book based on my review.  Overall this was a really fun read.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Above by, Isla Morley

Above is going to be a really hard book to write a review on without spoilers, so I apologize if this review contains spoilers.  I will do my best not to ruin anything.  Above is a story about a teenage girl, Blythe, who is kidnapped and kept in a silo underground by her kidnapper.  This story is similar to those we have heard of on the news, where a young girl is kidnapped and kept prisoner for many years.  Blythe is unable to escape and has to adapt to her surroundings, learning to depend on her captor for survival.  I didn't enjoy this book as an overall package, it was like two different books wrapped into one.  The writing style isn't to blame, I connected with Blythe, I cared about her, but something was just off when the 'two books' were melded together. I really liked the first part of the book and the last part of the book, but the middle was difficult for me to get through, I almost didn't finish because I didn't like the shock I felt between the first and second part of the book.  I really like the idea behind the book, and feel like Morley intended for the reader to feel the same shock that Blythe did, which she did an excellent job of doing.  The change just made me feel cheated, just like in a book or a movie, where you go through a bunch of drama/action only to have the author say, "Surprise!  It's just a dream!"  (This is not what happens, the dream bit, in this book.)  The second part of the book is well thought out and I really liked it.  Maybe if there had been more clues about what was about to happen the transition would have worked better for me?  I also question the message the author is attempting to convey with the kidnapper.  (Which I can't go into without spoilers.)  Overall I give the book 3 out of 5 stars, if you do read this book please push through the middle section, it really does get better. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Savage Girl By, Jean Zimmerman

Savage Girl was a wonderful read.  Each character is rich with idiosyncrasies, loveable and rich.  Even the deviously evil and flawed characters have layers to their personalities causing the reader to turn them, over-and-over again in their mind detecting different hidden depths.  Much like eating a delicious dish, which you allow to slowing melt on your tongue trying to decipher if indeed there is a hint of cinnamon.  Savagery, love, cross-dressing, exotic, native, murderess, madness and the eccentric, Savage Girl doesn't disappoint the senses or the imagination.  I never thought I would find an American-Historical-Fiction story so intriguing.  This will definitely be a novel that I purchase and gift again-and-again.  This murder mystery is a fantastic gothic style novel I highly recommend it.

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Friday, February 14, 2014

House of Bathory By, Linda Lafferty

House of Bathory was extremely intriguing.  I was hooked and excited only 3% into the book.  Usually stories that take place in the present as well as in the past have something missing, they just don't fit together.  Lafferty proved that past and present could indeed be melded together to create a fantastic story.  This tale didn't snag at all.  The tale was weaved together so well that I sometimes forgot if I was in present time or past.  The times effortlessly melted into each other.  I have even become excited about doing further research on The Red Book by, C.G. Jung, which is a book that is mentioned extensively in House of Bathory.  I love books that make me want to research further into what inspired the author in the first place.  House of Bathory, follows the tale of Erzebet Bathory, the action takes place in the tale is similar to what is seen in the movie The Countess, starring Julie Deply. (Which honestly is all that I know about Erzbet Bathory.)  The past and present occur simultaneously, following the life of Besty Path a psychologist living in 2010.  House of Bathory is a tale of interconnectedness, dreams, and madness.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book and think that others will too.