Friday, July 25, 2014

Doppelganger by Milda Harris

                I have been reading up a storm this month and loving it.  No dent in the TBR list really as I added about 3 for every book 1 finished.  A solid point for the, pro eternal life, debate I always hear coming up.  One of the books I read recently was Doppelganger by Milda Harris thanks to NetGalley.  I first clicked on this title because, I admit the idea of doppelgangers intrigues me; and the cover reminded me of something from my past and to even now it drives me crazy that I am unable to figure out what that something is.  I’ll remember it at the most random time and shout it out for whoever is in the vicinity to look at me like I’ve lost my mind.  Either way I was excited to receive this book for an honest review. 

                This book is not a brand new release.  Which is great for me because that meant book 2, aptly named Doppelganger 2, was already out.  So I really read both books before I could review.  I had to know what happened next.  Though that simply means I am now waiting for book 3.  I’m focusing my review on book 1 so don’t worry about spoilers.  I read through it pretty quickly, the premise is that of a girl, named Citrus, starting out a normal day, all be is a bit badly as she is running late for school.  She has a run in with her least favorite person and then shows up unprepared for a test only to see herself through the door already taking the test.  Trippy.  Is this a dream?  Is she crazy?   Is it an alien invasion?  As she struggles to cope and figure this mess out she finds someone else out in the hall who happens to also be taking a test inside, a guy she happens to have a huge crush on, Aedan.
                The idea of the book sounded pretty good and the story moved along well enough.  They say everyone has a twin somewhere in the world.  What would you do if you ran into your doppelganger?  Once I got over the name of the lead character, I give a lot of leeway with names but that was a new one.  There was also another character constantly calling her Orange instead.  It was a bit of a strange name in a present day non-dystopian novel, to wrap my head around but after the first few chapters it just blended in.  She was a bit of a spaz too, which at times could be a bit repetitive but she’s a high school girl who is trying to deal with this supernatural mystery that took over her life and with her teenage girl crush issues.  It made me laugh how she is able to realize her train of thought drifts on occasion and how with everything going on thinking about the cute boy beside her should not even be on her mind; which made it enduring.  Honestly, I’m not sure my mind wouldn’t wonder in that mess; a way to think about something less freaky and more normal.  Because let’s face it in high school what could be more normal than dealing with a crush.

                If you found out a doppelganger had taken over your life and at least a handful of others, what would you do?  Confront them?  Run?  I can’t say too much more about the plot without giving away the story.  I can say that I think the author did a good job at weaving in fear, the mystery, and the unknown nicely to keep the reader engaged in the story and what happens to the characters.  Clearly I enjoyed the book if as soon as I finished it I went to Amazon and bought book 2 to keep reading right away.  I give it a solid 4 Stars and look forward to book 3.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Finally!!!! Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater

                We’ve all been there.  The end of a series we love and the author saying that is the end.  No more.  We’re happy to have the books the books we got but still, as with anything good, we would always like more.  That was The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy for me.  I may be more emotionally attached to these books because I fell in love with Sam and Grace’s story in Shiver when I first started reading for pleasure again.  Over the years as the other two books, Linger and Forever, came out I grew to enjoy not only them but I grew rather attached to Cole and Isabel.  I always felt their story left so much open at the end and I wanted more but was left to use my own imagination.  Then I heard the news that there was going to be a companion novel following Cole St. Clair.  I did my happy squeal of delight that scared my cat, apparently the pitch is rather high, and marked it in my calendar on my phone to start my count down.
See my special copy :) Yes I'm
showing it off!
                I re-read Forever to get ready for it.  It came out July 1st but as I pre-ordered my physical copy so I could have the special additional dust jacket Maggie was kind enough and artistically inclined to draw as well as get my copy signed, I am very proud of it, I had to wait a few extra days to get it.  I received it July 3rd and had to restrain myself not to start it that night.  See I had to work at 7:45am the next morning and I knew if I started it I wouldn’t stop to sleep.  Plus I was warned the day would be dead so I should be prepared to keep myself entertained.  That is easy enough for me.  Sinner kept me entertained.  I read through work, minus taking time to take a small test I was required to take for my job that took about an hour and a half I read the whole time.  I was so excited to have Cole and Isabel back in my life. 
The Wolves of Mercy Falls (new cover design)
                I reviewed the trilogy as a whole back when I first started my blog here.  I am not a spoiler-y type of person so I’ll keep this as spoiler free as possible.  If you haven’t read the original trilogy you will probably be a bit confused and there will be spoilers for those, so be warned. Now this story does have the supernatural element of wolves but it is more of a contemporary story in a whole.  Sinner takes place some months after Forever where Isabel was being moved to LA and she told Cole, when he called to say he wasn’t dead, not to lose her number.  Cole is in LA to record a new album and to do that he signed on to do a reality TV show known for getting people to drop to their lowest levels.  And he is there to see Isabel. 

                We see this story from both Cole and Isabels’ POV.  We were in their heads in the other books sure, but this is only about them.  Sam and Grace do make somewhat of an appearance which was a nice homage to where this all started but it is completely about Cole and Isabel.  They are both screwed up.  They each have their own inner demons to deal with and they can bring out the worst and the best in each other when together.  Isabel the ice queen who doesn’t let anything get through her protective shell and who certainly doesn’t believe in love or happily ever after.  And this wars with the way a certain guy makes her feel despite her best efforts not to.  Cole on the other hand is struggling with who he is and the mistakes of his past.  Can he change the destructive parts of him and keep who he is or is he doomed to spiral out? 

Pretty cover Maggie drew! 
There are no cute and fluffy moments with these two, not traditionally at least, but there are scenes that for them are cute and fluffy.  They don’t have the relationship that Sam and Grace had that if they had each other and love that is all that mattered and they could make it through the hard times.  They are different people and that isn’t who they are.  Isabel doesn’t want to let Cole in again and risk getting hurt all over.  She has enough going on in her life and is unsure if she even believes in the concept of happiness and trust.  Cole doesn’t make it easy because he is so rash and frenetic, which is part of what makes him so much fun to read, and that overshadows his deeper self sometimes.

Overall I have to say I love this book just as much as the others if not more.  I readily give this book 5 Pairs of Leggings.  I can’t praise this book enough and I was not disappointed at all.  So share your thoughts below.  What do you think of the companion novel or the original trilogy itself?  Tell me what you think, I really want to know what everyone who takes the time to read my reviews thinks.  I want interaction so we can discuss!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Divine Vices by Melissa Parkin

                I'm back again with my thoughts on another book.  Divine Vices by Melissa Parkin was not originally on my TBR list, not because it didn’t sound interesting or anything but I had never heard of it.  There are so many great books out there that are not huge releases and as such may get overlooked.  I'm glad I was contacted about this book and able to check it out because I really enjoyed it.

                The story is a thriller/mystery/suspense type that follows around high school junior Cassie Foster.  She has been in New Haven, Maine for the last seven months and is still the new girl and is happy in her life with her best friends Gwen and Ian.  She is taking everything well and trying to be normal, well as normal as one can be in high school.  Then comes the new guy, Jackson, who takes over the new kid role.  He is sexy, arrogant, sarcastic, and cocky which is not her type at all.  When they get thrown together and their bond intensifies it is hard to ignore even with the craziness that is happening in town.  The unexplainable events, a string of disappearances, and cult related murder, lead to many questions and coincidence of timing with Jacksons arrival in town and mysterious past.

                This book was very interesting and I like the cloak and dagger of it all.  One thing I find amazing is that it was listed as having a paranormal/supernatural/fantasy aspect to it but I forgot all about that as I read.  It wasn't until the last part of the book when I was on the edge of my seat trying to fight the rational part of my brain that said I needed to sleep before work the next day that it came about.  That can work for those who are just starting to get into a supernatural type of story.  I've had people ask me about books that I think they would enjoy but without too much 'way out there fantasy'.  Finding those based more in reality with a slight twist is always a good place to begin and dip your feet in.  And this one fits the bill because I believe it can be easily enjoyed by anyone. 

                Cassie is a girl who is trying to get over a tragedy.  She has found comfort in two friends and she just wants to finish high school and have as normal an experience as possible.  Her attraction to the new guy is a whole other story, she doesn't want to like him.  She battles with herself constantly.  She doesn't want to like him and she wants to strangle him sometimes but then as things happen her views shift but she still doesn't know what to rust.  And as she starts to open up and trust, he becomes her best friends prime suspect given his questionable past.

                The best friends Gwen and Ian are also very relatable.  They are people I remember going to high school with.  I think everyone knew that one people who knew everything.  The person that could tell you what was happening with everyone in school and even the news around town because they had the hook up.  If you wanted info you went to them to get it.  And the eccentric person who dressed to their own beat and seemed a bit out there and even took pride in being the different one.  I admit I was not that person.  I'm all about comfort and common sense.  I'm clumsy and trip on flat surfaces unhindered and I'm 5'7.  I don’t need to wear 4-6 inch heels every day.  That is a safety hazard.  Do I own them and like to dress up on occasion where I might care more about the outfit than my 100% comfort?  Yes.  I was friends with people at school who dressed like that though and I admired their courage to wear it when I knew others would joke about it. 
                The mystery of Jackson and what is happening around school all flows together seamlessly.  It' impossible not to question it and get caught up in the mystery even when it scares you.    Can you figure out what is going on before the characters do?  Is it going to work out the way you think?  I admit I didn’t get this one figured out, which is pretty big for me.  I normally have it all clued in before the first half.  So enjoy the mystery and see if you're smarter than the characters.

                I don’t want to give too much of the story away so I think I will close it up saying simply that I give this book 5 Stars.  Once I started I didn’t want to stop.  And it stops at a very unfriendly place let me warn you.  I almost dropped my poor kindle trying to make more appear but it said book complete at the bottom and that was it for now.  I am eager to read book 2 and see where the story goes and will make an update when I learn anything about the next book.