Wendy Archibald

Archive for June, 2011|Monthly archive page

Paranormalcy By Kiersten White

In Fantasy, Kiersten White, Reviews, YA on June 30, 2011 at 4:25 pm

I stole this picture of the book cover (very cool cover, no?) from Kiersten White’s website, although she makes it sound as though her blog is the real place to be. Since I’m having trouble remembering to feed my children three meals per day (is lunch really necessary?) I haven’t blog-surfed for awhile, but after reading her book I’m pretty sure I’d like what I found there.

Paranormalcy was fast, fun, funny, and [quickly thinking of another ‘f’ word . . . ] fantastic. I had picked it up a few weeks ago, but every time I went to read it I ended up grabbing something else instead. I’ve become a bit burned out on the whole YA paranormal genre–I mean, I liked the Twilight series just as much as the next person, but the glut that flooded the market there for awhile made me long for regular old teenagers without any special abilities.

So . . . I was intrigued by the cover and the premise, but I couldn’t bring myself to start reading it for the longest time. Once I started it, though, I burned through that puppy in a matter of hours. As I said before, fast, fun, funny, and fantastic. (Hm. That joke was okay the first time around, but not so much the second time.)

Our heroine, Evie (short for Evelyn, naturally) works for the International  Paranormal Containment Agency. Besides being tough, smart, and pretty, she has a tazer. Which is enough for your average reader to completely fall in love with her, right?

Evie “tags and bags” various paranormals–werewolves, vampires, the occasional hag–and lives at the IPCA center with her best friend (who happens to be a mermaid–thank goodness for language-translating technology, right?). Evie’s own special talent of seeing through glamours makes her assistance invaluble. But when a new paranormal is captured, and large numbers of paranormals are turning up dead, Evie makes a discovery about her own classification that makes her question everything her life has been built on.

Again, the spoiler thing. I don’t want to say too much. I will say that I loved all the characters; they rang completely true. Beyond that, the entire book was fresh (ooh, another ‘f’!) and had a twist to the standard paranormal fare that I completely enjoyed. The book was serious and scary, but not dark. Evie always has hope, even when things look bleakest.  I love that about a main character.

Another thing I love is that the second book, Supernaturally, is out in less than a month. In fact, the only thing I would like better is if the entire series was already written so I wouldn’t have to wait.

 

[I just checked out Kiersten’s blog despite needing to pack for a three-week trip to my homeland. It’s hilarious and awesome. Add some paranormalcy to that and you’ve got her book: um, Paranormalcy.]

 

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Sean Griswold’s Head by Lindsey Leavitt

In Lindsey Leavitt, Reviews, YA on June 22, 2011 at 12:31 am

(Picture stolen from Lindsey Leavitt’s website.)

I hadn’t heard of Lindsey Leavitt two months ago; I read Sean Griswold’s Head and rapidly inhaled all the other books she’s written (of which there are two, and of which I may post another review in the coming weeks) within a two week period–and that was only because I had to wait for one on the hold list in the library.

Sean Griswold’s Head is Young Adult Literature at its finest. Payton, the narrator, has a wonderful voice. It’s distinct, it’s believable, and it’s real. Her reactions and her growth in the book are spot on.

In the book, Payton discovers–in a not-so-great-way–that her beloved father has MS. It’s not only Payton’s journey into looking deeper at the relationships she has, but her ultimate acceptance of what she can and can not do about things that happen in her life.

I am purposely vague when writing reviews because I hate reading reviews where the story gets spoiled, SPOILER ALERTS notwithstanding. But I feel like I can say a few of the things that I loved about this book:

  • There are no mean girls. When I was in high school, there wasn’t a clique of popular, mean girls who tried to spoil everything for everybody else. Our cheerleaders were not only nice, they were super nice. Instead of having a stock mean girl character, Ms. Leavitt pulls some other interesting characters out of her head that make the story that much more believable.
  • There is a brother her best friend tries to flirt with. Having five brothers of my own, I know that this does indeed happen–but generally only with newer friends, since the friends that knew my brothers in junior high weren’t all that impressed with them later.
  • There aren’t mean girls, but there is a fight with her best friend. And she has to agonize over the resolution. I like it.
  • A mangled cat toy given as a gift. Need I say more?
  • And then, there’s Sean’s head. And Sean. Ahh. Seriously, you need to read this book.

Wait, did you read that last sentence? Seriously, you need to read this book. You can thank me later.

Rejuvenating Fully Authorized

In Random on June 18, 2011 at 6:15 pm

When I started this blog, I had big plans. (I always have big plans.)

Unfortunately, a lot of times my big plans fizzle out before they can reach reality.

I’m trying to pick up this dying dream and shine it up a little.

Look forward to these coming reviews:

The Rangers Apprentice Series

Flowers for Algernon

Princess for Hire (and its sequel)

Sean Griswold’s Head

Open

Paranormalcy

Matched

The Day My Son and I Were Born

and maybe a few others in the coming weeks.

My goal is to make this more firmly book- and writing-dedicated, to link up with author blogs and websites that I like (although that is going to take some time) and also possibly introduce coming-soon books that I’m excited about.

Look for me on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It’s going to be great, right?

[Note to self: be more assertive.]

I mean, It’s going to be great!