On Dublin Street by Samantha Young {Review}

On Dublin Street by Samantha Young {Review}Title: On Dublin Street
Author: Samantha Young
Series: On Dublin Street #1
Publisher: Penguin Audio on January 24, 2013
Format: Audiobook, 10 hrs and 48 mins
Source: Purchased
3 Stars

Summary

Jocelyn Butler has been hiding from her past for years. But all her secrets are about to be laid bare…

Four years ago, Jocelyn left her tragic past behind in the States and started over in Scotland, burying her grief, ignoring her demons, and forging ahead without attachments. Her solitary life is working well—until she moves into a new apartment on Dublin Street where she meets a man who shakes her carefully guarded world to its core.

Braden Carmichael is used to getting what he wants, and he’s determined to get Jocelyn into his bed. Knowing how skittish she is about entering a relationship, Braden proposes an arrangement that will satisfy their intense attraction without any strings attached.

But after an intrigued Jocelyn accepts, she realizes that Braden won’t be satisfied with just mind-blowing passion. The stubborn Scotsman is intent on truly knowing her… down to the very soul.

My thoughts

Joss (as she prefers to be called) never faced the devastating events of her childhood, and has lived with a wall around her heart ever since. When she moves in with Ellie, that wall begins to crumble. When she meets Ellie’s hot brother Braden, the walls are shattered.

Poor Joss really has had it rough. She lost her entire family in one fell swoop, then not much later lost her best friend. Deciding it was better to not feel anything than to get hurt again, she hadn’t let anyone close in a long time. She had friends, but nobody she would call family. It was not hard to understand why she’d done that, I can’t imagine the pain she must have felt. On the other hand, I recognized that it wasn’t healthy and she needed help. Braden was also damaged, but not nearly as much as Joss. He’d had his heart broken by his ex, and had been content to play the ladies man ever since.

I loved Ellie, she was sweet, but kind of dense when it came to men. She was clearly in love with someone who was clearly in love with her (I’m not spoiling anything, it’s obvious as soon as you meet them), but they were both too stupid to do anything about it. She was an awesome friend to Joss, and really was the first step in getting Joss back to normal. Her subplot, however, was predictable and convenient.

He was what some might call an alpha male, but I would just call a dick.
The sexy scenes were extremely sexy. Lots and lots of hotness. They were very graphic, so if that’s not your thing, this is not your book. While I thought it was sexy, I can’t say it was romantic, but only because of how I felt about Braden. He was what some might call an alpha male, but I would just call a dick. He was cocky, arrogant, possessive and demanding. Luckily, Joss thought those were  endearing qualities and called him “caveman.”  And really, more than once I half expected him to knock her down and drag her around by her hair or lift his leg and pee all on her to mark his territory. That kind of male attitude just doesn’t do it for me. More than once, my jaw dropped and I waited for Joss to tell him where he could stick it. But no, it just turned her on and they had sex again.

While I had my problems with Braden, he did have a few likable qualities. He was quite sweet when he wanted to be, and he was protective of, and very generous with, his sister Ellie. While he was aggressive about it, he also managed to get through to Joss, help her see the way she was living wasn’t healthy for her. He had good intentions, at least.

I was not a fan of the audio version of the book. I liked Paula Costello’s voice, and she did a pretty good job with the accents, but she kept chuckling at inappropriate times. She would kind of say a sentence with laughter in her voice, like she thought Joss would say it. But I didn’t think Joss would laugh in a lot of those instances. It just came across as kind of awkward. Also, I had a hard time telling when Joss was thinking something to herself and when she was speaking out loud. The narrator could have done a better job of delineating which was which.

The sum up

Sexy with a side of sweet, this is perfect if you like your men large and in charge.

About the author

Samantha Young is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author from Stirlingshire, Scotland. She’s been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award 2012 for Best Author and Best Romance for her international bestseller ON DUBLIN STREET. ON DUBLIN STREET is Samantha’s first adult contemporary romance and has sold in twenty-five countries.

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Other opinions

Dear Author | K-Books | Krista’s Dust Jacket

 

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Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi {Review}

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi {Review}Title: Under the Never Sky
Author: Veronica Rossi
Series: Under the Never Sky #1
Publisher: HarperAudio on January 3, 2012
Format: Audiobook, 9 hrs and 39 mins
Source: Purchased
5 Stars
Summary

WORLDS KEPT THEM APART.

DESTINY BROUGHT THEM TOGETHER.

Aria has lived her whole life in the protected dome of Reverie. Her entire world confined to its spaces, she’s never thought to dream of what lies beyond its doors. So when her mother goes missing, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland long enough to find her are slim.

Then Aria meets an outsider named Perry. He’s searching for someone too. He’s also wild – a savage – but might be her best hope at staying alive.

If they can survive, they are each other’s best hope for finding answers.

My thoughts

Sometime in the future, everyone lives in completely enclosed spaces called pods where everyone looks basically the same and dresses exactly alike. Everything is done by computer, including socializing. The air outside is toxic and the pods protect them from not only the aether storms, but the diseased savages who scrape by living off the land. Aria is perfectly content until the communication link with her mother, who is in a separate pod miles away, goes down. In her effort to find out what happened to her mother, and why the link isn’t getting fixed, she ends up alone outside the safety of her pod. There she meets Perry, an outsider, who agrees to help her find her mother in exchange for her help in finding someone he’s lost.

I know I’m the last one to the party here and I don’t know why I waited so long to read this book, but I am so glad I finally did! I think I was a bit scared of the hype and I’ll be honest, it didn’t sound like it would be all that interesting. Luckily I was wrong.

The world-building here is phenomenal.
Veronica Rossi has created a whole new world set in Earth’s future, where people are separated by giant pods. The people in the pods are instantly cured of any illness, never want for anything and spend almost all of their time in the virtual world where they can travel anywhere, look any way and feel anything. Anything. The story spent more time outside the pod than inside, but we still had a chance to get to know “both sides of the pods” pretty equally. There was just incredible detail and description throughout the book. I could picture every scene, every building and cave and character.

The world building is incredible here.Speaking of characters, I wasn’t too fond of Aria in the beginning. She was entitled, as I guess everyone in the pods was, but she was childish and so naïve. Mostly in the beginning, before she ended up outside, I knew what was going to happen and almost thought she was kind of stupid for not figuring it out. She needed to be rescued from herself more than once. But, as she spent more and more time outside with Perry, she became more mature and stronger, and I started to like her more. Perry was grumpy and tough and didn’t give Aria any slack. He really grew on me, too. I also liked the other characters, including Roar and Liv, who have their own novella in the series.

An unexpected aspect of the story was the powers that some of the characters had. Basically, one of their senses was super hyped up. Perry had the ability to taste people’s emotions, which made for an interesting character quirk. It also made it harder for people (including Aria) to hide their feelings from him.

I admit, the narrator didn’t appeal to me at first, but that’s another thing that grew on me. Bernadette Dunne Flagler’s voice was very gravelly, and bordered a bit on annoying when she tried to lower her voice even more for the male speaking parts. Luckily, by the 4th or 5th chapter, the story was enough to make me forget about the voice I didn’t much care for. I was pleasantly glad to see she is not the narrator of book 2 (which I have already purchased!).

The sum up

A fun and creative take on the dystopian genre.

About the author

Veronica Rossi is the author of post-apocalyptic fiction for young adults. Her debut novel, UNDER THE NEVER SKY, is the first in a trilogy. Released in January 2012, it was deemed one of the Best Books of Year by School Library Journal. The second book in the trilogy, THROUGH THE EVER NIGHT, debuted in January on the NY Times and USA Today Best Seller Lists. The final book in the series, INTO THE STILL BLUE, is expected to release January 2014.

Foreign rights to the UNDER THE NEVER SKY trilogy have sold in over twenty-five territories to date and film rights have been optioned by Warner Bros.

She completed undergraduate studies at UCLA and then went on to study fine art at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. She lives in Northern California with her husband and two sons. When not writing, she enjoys reading, painting, and counting down the minutes until she can get back to making up stories about imaginary people.

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Other opinions

Literary Meanderings | RhiReading | Realm of Fiction

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How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff {Audio Review}

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff {Audio Review}Title: How I Live Now
Author: Meg Rosoff
Publisher: Listening Library on April 12th 2005
Format: Audiobook, 4 hrs and 13 mins
Source: Library
3 Stars
Summary

“Every war has turning points and every person too.”

Fifteen-year-old Daisy is sent from Manhattan to England to visit her aunt and cousins she’s never met: three boys near her age, and their little sister. Her aunt goes away on business soon after Daisy arrives. The next day bombs go off as London is attacked and occupied by an unnamed enemy.

As power fails, and systems fail, the farm becomes more isolated. Despite the war, it’s a kind of Eden, with no adults in charge and no rules, a place where Daisy’s uncanny bond with her cousins grows into something rare and extraordinary. But the war is everywhere, and Daisy and her cousins must lead each other into a world that is unknown in the scariest, most elemental way.

A riveting and astonishing story.

My thoughts

This is a very different story, in that it’s insular, mainly just focusing on the kids holed up on a farm somewhere. The adults only appear briefly, and really aren’t needed by the kids, anyway. Not quite dystopian, this is more of a war-time general young adult book that could almost be dystopian in its ambiance.

It was a bit frustrating for me, in that we never learned the answers to what I thought were important questions: what year did this story take place in? Who was fighting in the war, and why? Perhaps we never learned these answers because Daisy couldn’t care less; she even mentioned that the people who were dying in the war weren’t important because she didn’t know them. This made her selfish and unlikable in my eyes. I don’t care how young you are, when there’s something this major going on in your life, you notice. You care, even if it’s just a little.

The characters that we spend the most time with, Daisy, Edmond, Piper, Isaac and Osbert, were varied and they each had their own quirks and personalities. They all grew and matured throughout the story, which I liked. They truly became their own little family unit during the war, they made each other feel safe. Daisy and her love interest do not have insta-love, rather, their relationship was based on friendship and, let’s be honest, mostly convenience. Would it have happened without the war and the situations that followed? Most definitely not. But, it was nice that they found each other when they each needed someone the most.

Even though the audio is a very short 4 hours, the story seemed to move very slowly and it dragged a bit for me. Of course, that could have been because of the story. Though the kids found a way to get along and survive, the general tone of the book struck me as depressing. Besides war, it also covered such dark subjects as anorexia, family relationships, suffering, friendship, mental health and survival.

This is probably one of those instances where the audio version was a better choice than the print version.

The sum up

Sad and a bit long-winded, this is still a book worth reading if you like contemporary stories.

Connect with the author


Meg Rosoff was born in Boston and had three or four careers in publishing and advertising before she moved to London in 1989, where she lives now with her husband and daughter. Formerly a Young Adult author, Meg has earned numerous prizes including the highest American and British honors for YA fiction: the Michael L. Printz Award and the Carnegie Medal.

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The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater {Audio Review}

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater {Audio Review}Title: The Scorpio Races
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Audio on October 18, 2011
Format: Audiobook, 12 hrs and 6 mins
Source: Purchased
5 Stars
Summary

It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

My thoughts

Sean and Puck both live on Thisby island, where the highlight of the year are the Scorpio Races. About the same time every year, lethal water horses swim up on shore to eat whatever animals or humans they can catch. And every year, riders catch the water horses and enter them in the race. Sean’s been in the races for years, and he usually wins. Puck wasn’t planning on ever racing, but family circumstances force her hand and the possibility of winning the prize money is too good to pass up.

Puck and Sean were both very strong characters. Neither had parents and had learned to rely on themselves long ago. Sean had no family at all and was living with the island’s richest family while working at their stables. He was self-reliant and kind, quiet and strong. His quasi-brother was such an a-hole to him, but he maintained the peace and I was impressed with his restraint. Puck lived with her two brothers, one older and one younger. Their parents had died not too long ago and Puck was leaning on her older brother while trying to stay strong for her younger brother. She was in a difficult place, especially as her older brother drifted away so he could do his own growing up.

I liked the secondary characters, they were all full of personality and added that special something to the story. The good guys were fun and the bad guys were real jerks.

Neither Sean nor Puck were very talkative, so there wasn’t a lot of witty dialogue. It was nice for a change, though. They didn’t speak unless they had something important to say, so you really listened to the words. There were a lot of comfortable silences.

There was no grand sweeping love story here. There was just a touch of romance, but it was sweet and innocent. It was the perfect amount; any more would have been out of place in the story.

The writing was absolutely fabulous. Maggie Stiefvater knows how to create a whole new world. The entire island was described in such detail and with such care that you can’t help but picture it perfectly. The bluffs, the trees and bushes, the beach, the houses, the horses, the shops; all of it in perfectly vivid detail. Really, I can’t say enough how much I loved the world-building.

The pace lagged a bit, there was a ton of build-up before anything substantial happened and it was way too long before the actual races took place. Quite a bit of that filler could have been cut out with no effect to the overall story. Other than that, I liked the general direction the story took. There was some mystery as we were kept in the dark about some details, and there was a lot of action, once it got started.

A word of warning for animal lovers – this story (obviously) focuses on horses (with a few other animals thrown in) and it’s not all sunshine and roses. The horses and the riders are hurt, sometimes graphically, and some die. If you have an aversion to stories where the animals suffer (as I normally do), then you’d do best to avoid this one.

Now I need to talk about the narrators. I adored them both, and I would totally listen to them read from the dictionary if they ever decided to do that. They embodied the characters completely and their voices were smooth and pleasant. They didn’t have to yell at the tense parts, they could change their voices to show the mood changes. They are my top two narrator choices.

The sum up

A unique and interesting story with action, adventure and a touch of romance. If you’re going to read it, I highly recommend the audio version.

About the author

maggie stiefvaterNew York Times bestselling author of The Shiver Trilogy, The Raven Cycle, and The Scorpio Races. Artist. Driver of things with wheels. Avid reader.

All of Maggie Stiefvater’s life decisions have been based around her inability to be gainfully employed. Talking to yourself, staring into space, and coming to work in your pajamas are frowned upon when you’re a waitress, calligraphy instructor, or technical editor (all of which she’s tried), but are highly prized traits in novelists and artists. She’s made her living as one or the other since she was 22. She now lives an eccentric life in the middle of nowhere, Virginia with her charmingly straight-laced husband, two kids, two neurotic dogs, and a 1973 Camaro named Loki.

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The Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | Books A Million Audio CD | Indie Bound | Books A Million

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Novel Journeys | A Nudge In the Right Direction | Starlight Book Reviews

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Audio Review: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson

Title: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson
Author: Jenny Lawson
Narrator: Jenny Lawson
Publisher: April 17th 2012 by Penguin Audio
Format: Audio CD, 8 hrs and 41 mins
Source: Purchased
4 owls

Summary

When Jenny Lawson was little, all she ever wanted was to fit in. That dream was cut short by her fantastically unbalanced father (a professional taxidermist who created dead-animal hand puppets) and a childhood of wearing winter shoes made out of used bread sacks. It did, however, open up an opportunity for Lawson to find the humor in the strange shame spiral that is her life, and we are all the better for it.

Lawson’s long-suffering husband and sweet daughter are the perfect comedic foils to her absurdities, and help her to uncover the surprising discovery that the most terribly human moments-the ones we want to pretend never happened-are the very same moments that make us the people we are today.

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened is a poignantly disturbing, yet darkly hysterical tome for every intellectual misfit who thought they were the only ones to think the things that Lawson dares to say out loud. Like laughing at a funeral, this book is both irreverent and impossible to hold back once you get started.

My thoughts

Everyone has read Jenny’s blog, The Bloggess (and if you haven’t, why the hell not?), and her debut memoir is just like it, full of crazy things she does, awkward conversations she has, crazy texts she shares with Victor or sometimes, dark places she finds herself when her anxiety or depression take hold. The chapters are individual stories, told in chronological order.

Jenny states in the beginning that most of the stories are true, and even though she says only names and dates have been changed, you have to wonder if everything else could really be true. If so, she’s had quite the life! There were a few stories or mentions that I recall from reading her blog, but most everything in the book was new to me.

The way she deals with the setbacks and disappointments in her life are wonderful; she is a great example of how humor can make most anything better. There are some truly sad parts, like her many miscarriages, but she continues on. Though it’s sad at the time, she can look back later and find the funny. She talks a lot about her husband, Victor, and I just adore him. He has (almost) the same sense of humor as Jenny, and he has the patience and understanding of a saint.

My only complaint is the audiobook. I adore Jenny Lawson, but her voice grates on my nerves. A lot of the time, she spoke in a monotone, with hardly any inflection. Several times, she would read a long paragraph or story (in a monotone), and her voice would get this gravelly sound. It got so bad I wanted to say “Clear your throat already!” And for some strange reason, she sang the chapter titles. Not very well. For those reasons alone, I would suggest going for the print version instead of the audio version.

The sum up

If you like The Bloggess, or awkwardly funny situations, check this one. Beware the salty language.

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Website | Facebook | Pinterest | flickr | Twitter | Goodreads

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Spice of Life | Lovingly Thrown Together | Shelf Love

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Drowning Instinct by Ilsa J. Bick {Audio Review}

Drowning Instinct by Ilsa J. Bick {Audio Review}Title: Drowning Instinct
Author: Ilsa J. Bick
Publisher: Brilliance Audio on February 1, 2012
Format: Audiobook, 9 hrs and 46 mins
Source: Purchased
5 Stars
Summary

There are stories where the girl gets her prince, and they live happily ever after. (This is not one of those stories.)

Jenna Lord’s first sixteen years were not exactly a fairytale. Her father is a controlling psycho and her mother is a drunk. She used to count on her older brother—until he shipped off to Afghanistan. And then, of course, there was the time she almost died in a fire.

There are stories where the monster gets the girl, and we all shed tears for his innocent victim. (This is not one of those stories either.)

Mitch Anderson is many things: A dedicated teacher and coach. A caring husband. A man with a certain… magnetism.

And there are stories where it’s hard to be sure who’s a prince and who’s a monster, who is a victim and who should live happily ever after. (These are the most interesting stories of all.)

Drowning Instinct is a novel of pain, deception, desperation, and love against the odds—and the rules.

My thoughts

After reading Katie’s review of Drowning Instinct over at Blook Girl, I picked up the audio version, and I’m so glad I did.

Jenna is rescued from a near-drowning and while in the hospital, an officer gives her a tape recorder and asks her to record what happened, how she ended up in the frozen lake. So she starts at the beginning: her troubled home life, her arrival at a new school and everything that happens after. She pulls no punches and spares no details.

Jenna is a hot mess. She’s had an unfortunate upbringing which includes a fire that nearly killed her, being molested, living with a drunk mother and a super controlling father, being abandoned by her military-bound brother and self cutting. Unsurprisingly, she has some issues. She was a likable character, though. She had her moments of whining or brattiness, but she deserves some slack.

The infamous teacher, Mitch, well… I had some issues. He’s relatable and nice enough, and I understand he has his own issues, but he’s an adult. I’ve seen many reviews that say this story shows it’s not all black and white, that there are some gray areas, but I disagree. An adult is an adult is an adult. He should know better, no matter what’s going on in his life. But, let’s put that aside for now and just go with it, for the sake of this review. As a general character, I did like Mitch. He was kind and friendly and I think he truly wanted to be there for Jenna, who clearly needed someone to be on her side.

The other characters were there to be mean or bad to our 2 main characters, so we’d feel sorry for them. And they succeeded. They weren’t full characters, more like caricatures of people. But that’s okay, they served their purpose and I really just wanted to spend more time with Mitch and Jenna. Because even though I would oppose such a relationship in real life, I loved reading about it! They had some great scenes together, very sweet and romantic (if maybe a bit clinical).

Ilsa J. Bick has a way with words (not a surprise to me, having read her book Ashes), but I was still impressed with the way she weaved the story together. There was a bit of action, a lot of mystery, some romance and even witty dialogue. Several times I found myself anxious to know what happened next, and this was the only frustrating part about listening to the audio version – where I would normally skip a bit to get to the next scene, because I just couldn’t wait, I was forced to wait for the narrator to get there.

Speaking of the narrator, Kathleen McInerney did a fabulous job of bringing the story to life. At first I thought she sounded too young, but it worked and she soon became Jenna. Also, since the entire story is Jenna speaking into a microphone, there was a certain “rightness” of listening to the story, as opposed to reading it.

This is sometimes a hard story, for the subject matter, but it’s an interesting one. The writing is taut and kept me on the edge of my seat many times. And you know that bit from the book’s summary:

There are stories where the girl gets her prince, and they live happily ever after. (This is not one of those stories.)

Keep that bit in mind.

The sum up

I love everything about this book.

About the author

ilsa j. bickAmong other things, I was an English major in college and so I know that I’m supposed to write things like, “Ilsa J. Bick is .” Except I hate writing about myself in the third person like I’m not in the room. Helloooo, I’m right here . . . So let’s just say that I’m a child psychiatrist (yeah, you read that right)as well as a film scholar, surgeon wannabe (meaning I did an internship in surgery and LOVED it and maybe shoulda stuck), former Air Force major—and an award-winning, best-selling author of short stories, e-books, and novels. Believe me, no one is more shocked about this than I . . . unless you talk to my mother.

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The Phantom Paragrapher | Stacked | Reading at Berkeley High

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Audio Review: Brain On Fire by Susannah Cahalan

Title: Brain On Fire: My Month of Madness
Author: Susannah Cahalan
Publisher: November 13th 2012 by Free Press (audio by HighBridge Company)
Format: Hardcover, 264 pages (audio 7 hrs and 48 mins)
Narrator: Heather Henderson
Source: Purchased from Audible
5 owl rating

Summary

A gripping memoir and medical suspense story about a young New York Post reporter’s struggle with a rare and terrifying disease, opening a new window into the fascinating world of brain science.

One day, Susannah Cahalan woke up in a strange hospital room, strapped to her bed, under guard, and unable to move or speak. Her medical records—from a month-long hospital stay of which she had no memory—showed psychosis, violence, and dangerous instability. Yet, only weeks earlier she had been a healthy, ambitious twenty-four year old, six months into her first serious relationship and a sparkling career as a cub reporter.

Susannah’s astonishing memoir chronicles the swift path of her illness and the lucky, last-minute intervention led by one of the few doctors capable of saving her life. As weeks ticked by and Susannah moved inexplicably from violence to catatonia, $1 million worth of blood tests and brain scans revealed nothing. The exhausted doctors were ready to commit her to the psychiatric ward, in effect condemning her to a lifetime of institutions, or death, until Dr. Souhel Najjar—nicknamed Dr. House—joined her team. He asked Susannah to draw one simple sketch, which became key to diagnosing her with a newly discovered autoimmune disease in which her body was attacking her brain, an illness now thought to be the cause of “demonic possessions” throughout history.

With sharp reporting drawn from hospital records, scientific research, and interviews with doctors and family, Brain on Fire is a crackling mystery and an unflinching, gripping personal story that marks the debut of an extraordinary writer.

My thoughts

What an amazing story. This would be a great fiction story, but the fact that it’s true makes it all the more incredible.

Susannah takes us on the journey she took as she fell ill to the mysterious illness. The book starts at the first sign that something is wrong and takes us through her time in the hospital, her diagnosis, treatment and the follow-up care and research. Even though she can’t remember anything from that time, she has pulled together doctor’s notes, videos and interviews to create a thorough timeline that makes the reader fell like they’re living through it with her.

And it was scary. One minute she was an outgoing, confident young woman and the next she was a paranoid, delusional mess. It came on so suddenly and there were only a few signs that something was wrong before she ended up in the hospital. The tests and incorrect diagnoses she went through before they ever discovered her problem were immense and I’m impressed that her family didn’t give up on her. Their persistence is a testament of their love. Also? I think she might have the best real-life boyfriend ever.

You know it’s going to end well (she did write the book, after all) but the writing is so immersive and intense, that you wonder how it will all work out. This could have had a very different outcome, and Susannah is very lucky that the right doctor found the right test at the right time.

The last section of the book deals with the aftermath – how Susannah continues to be affected and the research and development that have gone into the disease since her diagnosis. That section wasn’t as intense as the earlier parts, but it was interesting. In fact, there are interesting facts and tidbits throughout the book, which were especially useful so we would know exactly how Susannah’s brain was misfiring.

The narrator did a great job, she had the moods and affectations down perfectly. When combined with the fabulous writing, I really felt like I was there in Susannah’s head while she was going through this.

The sum up

An intriguing story made even better by the tight writing. Susannah is a gifted writer and I’m amazed this is her first book. Don’t miss it.

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Other opinions

Sophisticated Dorkiness
My Shelf Confessions
Luxury Reading

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Fade by Lisa McMann {Audio Review}

Fade by Lisa McMann {Audio Review}Title: Fade
Author: Lisa McMann
Series: Dream Catcher #2
Publisher: Brilliance Audio on February 10, 2009
Format: Audiobook, 5 hrs and 22 mins
Source: Library
5 Stars
Summary

For Janie and Cabel, real life is getting tougher than the dreams. They’re just trying to carve out a little (secret) time together, but no such luck.

Disturbing things are happening at Fieldridge High, yet nobody’s talking. When Janie taps into a classmate’s violent nightmares, the case finally breaks open — but nothing goes as planned. Not even close. Janie’s in way over her head, and Cabe’s shocking behavior has grave consequences for them both.

Worse yet, Janie learns the truth about herself and her ability — and it’s bleak. Seriously, brutally bleak. Not only is her fate as a dream catcher sealed, but what’s to come is way darker than she’d feared….

My thoughts

One of my favorite fictional couples is back. Cabel (swoon) and Janie are still in school, still (secretly) together and still dealing with Janie’s unusual ability. This time, the Captain offers Janie a position with the undercover team. There’s a sexual predator on the loose in their school, and the Captain thinks Janie can use her special talent to help suss out the guilty party. Though Cabel protests (he wants to keep her out of harm’s way), Janie convinces him that this is something she has to do. She wants to use her power for good. He relents and they join forces to take down the bad guy. Only Janie ends up in some dangerous situations they weren’t prepared for.

Once again, Janie was a strong, confident woman stuck in an unenviable position. She was learning to control the basics of her dream jumping with Mrs. Stuben’s help and Caleb’s support. Though Janie was unhappy with her dream-jumping (and her mother’s continued mental absence), she never complained. She just kept on doing her thing while staying focused on her future college plans. Cabel is still one of my top literary crushes. He had his flaws, of course: he was overprotective (in Janie’s opinion, not mine) and he had a hard time letting her make her own decisions. But he truly cared about her and only wanted her to stay safe. Nothing wrong with that as far as I’m concerned. It turned out Mrs. Stuben had quite a few secrets she was hiding from Janie in Wake. I enjoyed learning about her past and how she handled the same ability that Janie was now dealing with. Some of the things Janie learned were sad and heartbreaking, and I really felt for her.

The plot was a bit farfetched (I really doubt a police force would leave so much of the actual police work up to a pair of teenagers), but I enjoyed it anyway. If you can suspend your belief and just go with it, you’ll like the ride much more. I liked that Cabel and Janie didn’t have an easy relationship, where everything worked out perfect right from the get-go. They both had their issues, and both had to learn to give as well as take. It was nice to see such a realistic relationship in a YA book.

There was cussing and drug and alcohol use. There were also sexual situations, including the topic of rape, though they were handled realistically and honestly. The plot moved along at a quick pace, as did the writing. No extraneous subplots or prose. Simple and to-the-point writing really worked with this story, with Janie’s frame of mind. Again, as with Wake, I think this type of writing worked better in the audio version than it would in print.

The sum up

Another intense story in the series, Fade sets the scene for the final book and I can’t wait to read how everything turns out. And also, more Cabel, please.

About the author

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Lisa McMann lives and writes in the Phoenix area. Her books include the NYT bestselling paranormal WAKE trilogy, CRYER’S CROSS, DEAD TO YOU, and the dystopian fantasy series beginning with THE UNWANTEDS. (Book 2, Unwanteds: ISLAND OF SILENCE, comes out Sept 4, 2012).

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Purchase

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Other opinions

nomadreader | Tina’s Book Reviews | The Bookette

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