young adult

All posts tagged young adult

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Click cover photo for Goodreads page

 

**Any spoilers are unintentional and I apologize in advance if I let any slip that ruin the story for you. The purpose of the reviews are to highlight books I’ve read as part of a personal reading and blogging challenge for 2015. Read here for my personal expectations. I have not been asked by authors to do these reviews, I’m just reviewing as I read.**

Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal – YA (Young Adult)

Synopsis: A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.

A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography.

 

My Star Rating:

4 stars

 

My Review:

After given this book from mother with the only description of “It’s weird. Just read it and tell me what you think.” I had to give it a try. Sifting tumblr_m3rxb53fhf1qe5r69o1_500through it before reading, the first thing I noticed was pictures. I haven’t read a picture book in many years, and as soon as I saw the odd photos, I was already hooked. To my extreme delight, as you’ll find explained in the back of the book, besides some “minimal postprocessing, they (the photographs) are unaltered.” Saved from flea markets and old trucks, Riggs uses photos from the collections of 10 others (including the cover photo), injecting them into the narrative to illustrate Jacobs journey in finding answers about fairy tales his grandfather told him all his life.

Drawing me into his world of creepiness (my favorite), I wanted to know the answers as much as Jacob. Not a typical supernatural thriller, Miss Peregrine and her peculiar children are rather desperate and hanging on to old notions of life Jacob finds difficult to understand. With a mix of history, not only in the vintage photographs but in the story as well, Jacob navigates this odd turn of events as well as any storybook bumbling hero who is everything but a hero, but strives to save those he cares about in a time and place he knows little about.

peregrine2Miss Peregrine is an odd old bird keeping the whole lot in line. Her children her life as she keeps care of them like a school house head mistress. Each child with their own story and Riggs pairs them well with these creepy photographs.

The deserted island in Wales hosts a wealth of interesting characters you want to pull up a bar stool and chat with, if you can understand them. The world Riggs created alongside this island a place you could picture getting lost on and finding folks like Miss Peregrine and her peculiar children.

For a sixteen year old kid who had a life designed for him while in diapers, Jacobs finds himself on a journey all his own.

Read for the adventure, linger on the vintage photos, and imagine yourself in the life Miss Peregrine and her peculiar children live. Running away to a circus will seem boring in comparison.

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Where to Buy: Amazon.com

Also find: The sequel ‘Hollow City’

Author Bio and Contacts:

3046613 I grew up in Florida, went to Kenyon College in Ohio, then film school at USC in LA, where I still live. I write books and screenplays, blog daily for mentalfloss.com, and make short films.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is my first novel. I’m really excited about it — it was challenging and rewarding and I hope people like it. If you read that and like the found photographs in it, you might be interested in a book comprised entirely of found photographs that I have coming out January 2012 from HarperCollins. It’s called Talking Pictures. You can find sneak peeks by doing a search for “mental floss talking pictures” (I included a number of images in blogs there) and I made a kinda-sorta book trailer for it, which is on my youtube page: youtube.com/ransriggs.

Also, watch out for a Miss Peregrine book trailer, which I’m working on right now! I get to go to Belgium and film inside creepy abandoned chateaus, which I’m *really* looking forward to.

Website: http://www.ransomriggs.com

Twitter: @ransomriggs

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ransom-Riggs/191481354199281

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Click cover photo for Goodreads profile

 

**Any spoilers are unintentional and I apologize in advance if I let any slip that ruin the story for you. The purpose of the reviews are to highlight books I’ve read as part of a personal reading and blogging challenge for 2015. Read here for my personal expectations. I have not been asked by authors to do these reviews, I’m just reviewing as I read.**

Genre: Paranormal Suspense – YA (young adult)

Synopsis: Heading off for a weekend in Las Vegas with her friends, Jessie Ralle has only one worry—how to make it through the road trip in the same car with her Ex, Jimmy Kelter. The guy who broke her heart five months ago when he dumped her for no reason. The guy who’s finally ready to tell her why he did it, because he wants her back.

But what Jessie doesn’t realize is that Jimmy is the least of her problems.

In Las Vegas she meets Russ, a mesmerizing stranger who shows her how to gamble, and who never seems to lose. Curious, Jessie wants to know his secret, and in response, alone in his hotel room, he teaches her a game that opens a door to another reality.

To Witch World.

Suddenly Jessie discovers that she’s stumbled into a world where some people can do the impossible, and others may not even be human. For a time she fears she’s lost her mind. Are there really witches? Is she one of them?

My Star Rating:

3_Star_Rating_System

 

My Review:

The synopsis leaves so many holes it’s difficult to review without spoiling, but I’ll do my best.

Witch World was a roller coaster for me. In the beginning I was unimpressed, made no connection with Jessie the main character, who I felt was dramactic and  arrogant, plus I couldn’t envision the direction Pike was headed and floundered on putting the book down all together. Then along came Russ and he peaked my interest as the first character worth my emotional investment.

Russ is an immediate mystery and captivated Jessie as much as he did me. While his description painted him deliciously, his prowess in gambling let us know something about him wasn’t normal, and as interaction between him and Jessie continued, so did my curiosity, keeping me flipping pages I thought I was done with.

Then the left hook hit and I fell in love and read for hours, losing sleep, and waking up for work with a reading hangover. When action scenes hit, Pike held me within the emotion of his characters and kept me holding on. Even when Witch World was introduced I wanted to discover the differences and understand the new game Russ taught Jessie.

The relationship between Jessie and Jimmy fell flat for me. I didn’t understand the love between them, but it’s possibly because Pike was so focused on Russ in the beginning, that Jimmy became insignificant and uninteresting in comparison. I’d like to say I understood, but I didn’t.

The duality of Jessie was confusing as well. We all have our polarizing aspects of personality, but Jessie’s felt forced by the author and lost authenticity. Something I found myself questioning and shaking my head at when it crept up into extreme actions and reactions that made no sense and had me disliking Jessie all the more.

At one point a significant death occurred. I was shocked. Not only at the fact this character was gone, but that not enough attention was brought to this fact. The disappointment made me want to shove the book into a snowbank, but I kept on hoping Pike would redeem himself and find a way for the reader to mourn the character. Nope. The opportunity never came.

Once I pushed away the disappointment in order to read on, I was clobbered by a history lesson. A few, actually. While I enjoy historical facts and the depth it brings to certain characters, this was too much, and I felt myself skimming, happy for it since it did nothing for the story but leave me dissatisfied again when a characters dies and I’m left wondering why.

I gave Witch World a 3-star rating because the plot points and characters that were good, were really good, but the others lacked depth and created frustration as the reader. I still think anyone who is a Pike lover should read this, but understand it won’t be the best piece of writing you’ve ever read, while won’t be the worst worst either. I’m all for making the reader feel a myriad of emotions, but it needs to be for the right reasons.

I do see there’s a sequel. And even though I wasn’t 100% satisfied with the first, I will still definitely check out the second and other Christopher Pike novels.

Where To Buy: Amazon.com – available in paper and ebook formats

Also Known For: Thirst Series (In my To Be Read Pile)

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Click cover photo for Goodreads link

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author Bio and Contacts:

19954Christopher Pike is the pseudonym of Kevin McFadden. He is a bestselling author of young adult and children’s fiction who specializes in the thriller genre. McFadden was born in New York but grew up in California where he stills lives in today. A college drop-out, he did factory work, painted houses and programmed computers before becoming a recognized author. Initially unsuccessful when he set out to write science fiction and adult mystery, it was not until his work caught the attention of an editor who suggested he write a teen thriller that he became a hit. The result was Slumber Party (1985), a book about a group of teenagers who run into bizarre and violent events during a ski weekend. After that he wrote Weekend and Chain Letter. All three books went on to become bestsellers.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChristopherPikeBooks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CPikeForever

Simon and Schuster: http://authors.simonandschuster.com/Christopher-Pike/1080960

Website: ChristopherPikeBooks.com (not working at time of review)