Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Murmurings by Carly Anne West

The Murmurings by Carly Anne West
[Expected publication: March 5th 2013 by Simon Pulse]
[384 pages]
The Murmurings has all the elements for quality creepfest: an original, creepy as hell creature from beyond the grave; a creepy doctor driven by his own obsession; and a conspiracy just below the surface.

Sophie is a pretty average teenager--despite the fact that her sister had schizophrenia and was recently found dead. To cope, her mom turned to alcoholism and Sophie is ostracized by her peers. To make things worse, Sophie can hear these whispers, murmurings really, just beside her ear that she can't quite make out--all the symptoms that drove her sister insane and landed her in the mental facility Oakside. Or did it? Was her sister telling the truth?

There is some pretty good quality romance but the romance does take a backseat the the plot. Evan is a likable love interest, I love his sweetness and insecurity. I wouldn't delve into this for the love story though, there is so much here far more worthy than the love story. The plot is the golden goose. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Notes from Ghost Town by Kate Ellison

Notes from Ghost Town by Kate Ellison
[Published February 12th by EgmontUSA]
[336 pages]

This is hard to review because I don't feel like I connected very well with Olivia. This is a very sad story, and I didn't feel very sad watching her anguish. On the other hand, I thought her pain and confusion was very well done. Being torn between Stern--the dead boy she loved and Austen, a living breathing boy was very realistic. Her struggle to accept her father's new bride-to-be is also very understandable and realistic.

I think overall this is a decent mystery novel. I didn't expect what happened at the end. I am a bit disappointed there was nothing much creepy. Ghost stories should always be creepy! But this wasn't a ghost story. Not really. And this part of the novel was never really explained. Was it Olivia imagining things? Was Stern really visiting her and leading her towards the truth? Olivia doesn't figure it out and neither does the reader.

The writing is good, the storyline is significantly engaging. I don't usually reading YA like this and I enjoyed it, even if there were times I dreaded going back to it. I think it deserves 4 stars.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black

Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black
[Expected publication: February 12th 2013 by Bloomsbury USA Children's Books]
[447 pages]

This is a hard book to rate, because for most of the book I was at a solid, mediocre 3 stars. But in light of the ending and the book as a whole in retrospect, I feel as though it deserves another star despite my disappointment that it didn't live up to the creep factor I had been hoping desperately for (there's definitely a significant lack of creep in YA). But looking around that bias I do think it's a decent mystery novel, just nothing to make my skin crawl or my spine tingle.

I think it you're looking for something for a little different and you don't mind reading a lot of ballet scenes (stunning scenes really, but I've always been interested in ballet, so I'm speaking from bias) then this will be a good book for you. And really, the ballet scenes were my favorite part--especially the end. The detail and everything was just perfect.

But the day-to-day school life did get marginally annoying and boring, Vanessa's circular logic was tiring. There wasn't nearly as much self doubt as I would have suspected. She makes feeling like you're going crazy to be a pretty mundane experience.