Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead {Review}

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead {Review}Title: Vampire Academy
Author: Richelle Mead
Series: Vampire Academy #1
Publisher: Razorbill on August 16, 2007
Format: Paperback, 332 pages
Source: Gift
4 Stars
The sum up

Snarky, sexy and fun. A promising start to the series.
[Read more…]

Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn {Review}

Title: Another Little Piece
Author: Kate Karyus Quinn
Publisher: HarperTeen on June 11th, 2013
Format: eARC, 419 pages
Source: Publisher


Summary

The spine-tingling horror of Stephen King meets an eerie mystery worthy of Sara Shepard’s Pretty Little Liars series in Kate Karyus Quinn’s haunting debut.

On a cool autumn night, Annaliese Rose Gordon stumbled out of the woods and into a high school party. She was screaming. Drenched in blood. Then she vanished.

A year later, Annaliese is found wandering down a road hundreds of miles away. She doesn’t know who she is. She doesn’t know how she got there. She only knows one thing: She is not the real Annaliese Rose Gordon.

Now Annaliese is haunted by strange visions and broken memories. Memories of a reckless, desperate wish . . . a bloody razor . . . and the faces of other girls who disappeared. Piece by piece, Annaliese’s fractured memories come together to reveal a violent, endless cycle that she will never escape—unless she can unlock the twisted secrets of her past.

My thoughts

Annaliese was recently found after having disappeared over a year ago. She can’t remember anything from her past, including the year she was gone. She doesn’t recognize anyone from school, her house, or even her parents. And though everyone insists she’s Anneliese, she’s positive she isn’t. When she starts remembering things that have happened to other girls, she knows something’s wrong. And she doesn’t know why, but she can feel a deadline approaching fast. Now she needs to find out what happens when it arrives.

I want to be one of those people who appreciates this novel for its quirkiness and unexpected twists and turns, for it’s simple prose and elegant story telling, but I am not going to be one of them. It is quirky and has a ton of twists and turns, and it does have simple and elegant prose, but in the end, all I can think is: This story is flipping weird.

As the reader, we knew nothing of Anneliese other than what she was told. We experienced the memories and confusion just as she did, which allowed us to really appreciate how scary and disorienting it was to not know anything about yourself. She seemed very detached, which was totally understandable, but it also made it hard to like her. I felt so sorry for her parents, who were torn between wanting to never let her out of their sight and allowing her to go at her own pace.

The boy who seemed to know more about Annaliese than she did was creepy, as hem was supposed to be. And the boy who was kind-of-dating Annaliese was someone I just felt sorry for, more and more as the story progressed. And that’s all I can tell you about the characters without spoiling anything.

But really, even if I wanted to spoil you, I don’t think I could. Because, to be entirely honest, I’m not really sure what the hell was going on about 80% of the time. There were a ton of flashbacks and none of them had any context or explanation. The book isn’t described as science fiction, but that’s a huge element in it, but even that isn’t described completely. Seriously, this was me during most of the book:

I was left with an unclear story and too many questions, and I don’t enjoy that in a book.

The sum up

While I thought Another Little Piece was okay, it just wasn’t my thing. I’m not sure I would read anything else from this author.

About the author

Kate Karyus QuinnKate Karyus Quinn is an avid reader and menthol chapstick addict. She has lived in California and Tennessee, but recently made the move back to her hometown of Buffalo, New York, with her husband and two children in tow. She promised them wonderful people, amazing food, and weather that would… build character. Another Little Piece is her first novel.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

Purchase

The Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Amazon

Other opinions

Every one of these bloggers loved this book, so check them out for another point of view:

Xpresso Reads | Winter Haven Books | The Hiding Spot

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.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Purchase

The Book Depository | IndieBound | Amazon

Other opinions

Literary Meanderings | RhiReading | Realm of Fiction

The Program by Suzanne Young {Review}

The Program by Suzanne Young {Review}Title: The Program
Author: Suzanne Young
Publisher: Simon Pulse on April 30th 2013
Format: eARC, 408 pages pages
Source: Publisher
5 Stars

Summary

In Sloane’s world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program.

Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories.

Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them.

My thoughts

Sloane lives sometime in the near future when science has declared teen suicide an epidemic. Luckily, science has found a cure – The Program. Kids who show signs of depression can be forcibly admitted into The Program. Once the kids come out, they’re happy and without care. But they also can’t remember things from their past, even their friends. Sloane, who has already lost her brother to suicide, spends all her time with her boyfriend James, who was her brother’s best friend. The two of them are just trying to stay “happy” until they turn 18 and are no longer eligible for The Program.

Sloane was an amazingly strong female lead character. She knew she had to remain stoic, but it was hard for her; not only was she still upset from her brother’s suicide, she was scared of being taken away. She had James to lean on, but only in private, when nobody else was around. He was also strong; not only was he carrying guilt for not having saved his best friend, but he had made it his personal mission to take care of Sloane and their small circle of friends. That’s a lot of weight on such young shoulders.

There were other characters: friends, classmates, doctors and her parents, who added their own thing to the book. There were a few special ones whom I can’t call out specifically for fear of spoilers, but I will say I enjoyed them all (except for the really bad guy). There were some sexy times, but it was not at all graphic. Boo.

The story was incredibly suspenseful. The tension was just amped up over and over until I didn’t think I could take it anymore. The kids were afraid to show any emotion at all, and you know keeping it inside wasn’t any good for them at all. They couldn’t have a bad day or get in a simple argument without fear. Every time they saw a handler from The Program, they were scared to death that they were next. And since they knew what would happen, some felt suicide was the better option.

Several times, I found myself holding my breath, wondering if it was the end of Sloane, or someone else we’d gotten to know.
Several times, I found myself holding my breath, wondering if it was the end of Sloane, or someone else we’d gotten to know. The people from The Program were always lurking around the school, waiting for someone to look sad so they could scoop them away and erase their memories. And there’s no running away, The Program would just track them down and drag them back. It’s no surprise that some chose suicide as their only option.

In the beginning, I wondered why parents would voluntarily send their kids away to a place like that, I just knew that Sloane’s parents were going to be there for her and let her be unhappy, at least in the home. But no, they were pro-Program. And after a while, I could almost see it. If you had already lost 1 child to suicide, wouldn’t you do basically anything to keep from losing the other one, even if it made them unhappy?

I just went from reviewing the book to discussing the ethics of The Program, so let me get back to the former.

I can’t imagine how it would feel to be in the situation these kids were in, but thanks to Suzanne Young, I absolutely felt the terror and fear Sloane, James and their friends did. Young created a not-too-distant place where a government-mandated non-voluntary treatment for suicide prevention was totally believable. I was caught up in the story and lost myself in it many times. As far as I’m concerned, that’s the sign of an excellent writer.

I was left with a few unanswered questions, and though I think this was originally going to be a standalone, I was very pleased to find out that a sequel is due next year.

The sum up

Believably realistic and surprisingly romantic, this is an excellent entry in the dystopian genre. I can’t wait to see what happens in the follow up.

About the author


Originally from New York, Suzanne Young moved to Arizona to pursue her dream of not freezing to death. She currently resides in Tempe, where she teaches high school English. When not writing obsessively, Suzanne can be found searching her own tragic memories for inspiration.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Purchase

The Book Depository | Kobo | IndieBound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Other opinions

Bookish | Xpresso Reads | Inspiring Insomnia

The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda {Teen Review}

Title: The Hunt
Author: Andrew Fukuda
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press on May 8th 2012
Format: Paperback, 304 pages
Source: Purchased
Series: The Hunt | The Prey | The Trap
3 Stars

Summary

Don’t Sweat. Don’t Laugh. Don’t draw attention to yourself. And most of all, whatever you do, do not fall in love with one of them.

Gene is different from everyone else around him. He can’t run with lightning speed, sunlight doesn’t hurt him and he doesn’t have an unquenchable lust for blood. Gene is a human, and he knows the rules. Keep the truth a secret. It’s the only way to stay alive in a world of night—a world where humans are considered a delicacy and hunted for their blood.

When he’s chosen for a once in a lifetime opportunity to hunt the last remaining humans, Gene’s carefully constructed life begins to crumble around him. He’s thrust into the path of a girl who makes him feel things he never thought possible—and into a ruthless pack of hunters whose suspicions about his true nature are growing. Now that Gene has finally found something worth fighting for, his need to survive is stronger than ever—but is it worth the cost of his humanity?

My (son’s) thoughts

My 15 year old gave me his (slightly rambly) thoughts on The Hunt. I’ve cleaned it up a bit, but the opinions and thoughts below are all his:

Gene is a human living in a world taken over by vampire. Gene and his father learned a lot of vampire behaviors so they could blend in; if they were discovered to be human, they would be eaten immediately.

When Gene was younger, he was sick and when his father went out to find medicine, he was killed. Though Gene feels guilty, he knows his father would want him to continue on and live.

I like the characters, they were well thought out. My favorite character was Gene; he had to go through so much every day just to survive. He had to remember so many small details, and he would die if he did any of them wrong. He had to remain vigilant and always aware.

The dialogue was pretty good, though slightly confusing with all the new lingo. There was a good amount of cussing and just the right amount of romance. I liked that he had a crush on a girl, but wasn’t able to show her any affection at all. The vampire sex was kind of weird. [ed: I could have asked him to elaborate on this point, but I felt it unwise to open that can of worms.] There was a bit of humor, but it was mostly a dark and serious book. Any more humor would have been out of place in this survival story.

The Hunt was exciting and kept me on the edge of my seat. There was a lot of action, secrets and betrayal. I would recommend it to fans of mystery, paranormal and sci-fi.

The sum up

I liked this new take on vampires and look forward to the next one in the series.

About the author


Born in Manhattan and raised in Hong Kong, Andrew Fukuda is half-Chinese, half-Japanese. After earning a bachelor’s degree in history from Cornell University, Fukuda worked in Manhattan’s Chinatown with the immigrant teen community. That experience led to the writing of Crossing, his debut novel that was selected by ALA Booklist as an Editor’s Choice, Top Ten First Novel, and Top Ten Crime Novel in 2010. His second novel, The Hunt, the first in a new series, was bought at auction by St. Martin’s Press and will be published in May 2012. Before becoming a full time writer, Fukuda was a criminal prosecutor for seven years. He currently resides on Long Island, New York, with his family.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Goodreads

Purchase

The Book Depository | IndieBound | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Amazon

Other opinions

The Book Smugglers | The Australian Bookshelf | YA Reads

Review: Slated by Teri Terry

Title: Slated
Author: Teri Terry
Publisher: January 24th 2013 by Nancy Paulsen Books
Format: Hardcover, 352 pages
Source: Book Divas
Series: Slated | Fractured
5 owl rating

Summary

Kyla’s memory has been erased,
her personality wiped blank,
her memories lost forever.

She’s been Slated.

The government claims she was a terrorist, and that they are giving her a second chance – as long as she plays by their rules. But echoes of the past whisper in Kyla’s mind. Someone is lying to her, and nothing is as it seems. Who can she trust in her search for the truth?

My thoughts

In the U.K. in the near future, teens who have been convicted of crimes can be slated, or have their brains wiped. They forget everything about their past: who they were, their personalities, their families, everything. They literally become blank slates. They are then placed with new families who raise them as their own. The slated are like toddlers, just learning about the world and their place in it. To help with the transition, those who have been slated wear bracelets that monitor their brain activity. If they get too sad, angry or aggressive, their bracelets alert the wearer so the offending behavior can be fixed.

This book turned out so differently than I was expecting from the start. At first, the writing bothered me a bit; there was a serious lack of contractions. It was weird, a conversation would be going along fine, then someone would say something like “It is obvious” or “It is fine.” It was kind of jarring and I just knew it would ruin the story for me. But then I really got into it and soon I didn’t even see those little annoyances anymore. Let me assure you, this is a fantastic book.

When I started the book, I wondered why Kyla was so compliant about the slating situation. Where were her parents and why didn’t she wonder the same thing? How could she just go to a new family and act like it was no big deal? What happened if she didn’t fit in? Though these questions were answered eventually, they were slow in coming. There was no big info-dump in the beginning, I just had to read along and wait for the information to be revealed.

I really enjoyed all the characters. It’s hard for me to describe them, though, without revealing some secrets. One of the best things about the book is how I never knew who was trustworthy and who wasn’t. Someone who was a stereotypical bad guy could be secretly good and someone who appeared so good you knew they must be evil, may actually be good. Truly, I never knew what to think about them, and I absolutely loved that.

There wasn’t a lot of action, as far as fight scenes or chases, but there were a ton of tense moments, and Teri Terry really knows how to write them. They were subtle and gripping and I literally held my breath many times throughout the story. Sometimes it was as simple as 2 people having a conversation, but it was written in such a way that you could literally feel the uneasiness between them, even if one of them didn’t.

Finally, the ending frustrated me because it didn’t feel like an ending. It wasn’t that it was a cliffhanger, it just… ended. Almost like Teri Terry had to edit the book down in size, so she just opened a page, pointed and said “Here. Here’s where it will end.” Of course, that just makes me anxious for the next one, so maybe she did it on purpose!

The sum up

I loved every bit of it and can’t wait for the next one.

Connect with the author

Website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads

Purchase

The Book Depository
Amazon hardcover
Kindle

Other opinions

The Book Rat
Booked Up!
The Diary of a Bookworm

This book review originally appeared on BookDivas.com

Review: Levitating Las Vegas by Jennifer Echols

Title: Levitating Las Vegas
Author: Jennifer Echols
Publisher: May 7th, 3013 by Pocket Star
Format: ebook, 300 pages
Source: Publisher, in exchange for an honest review

Summary

Nothing up her sleeves…or so she’s been led to believe.

Showgirl Holly Starr is sick and tired of assisting her dad, a celebrity magician, in his Las Vegas casino magic show. As soon as he keeps his promise to her and shares the secrets to his tricks, she can break out on her own. But can she really make it? For years Holly has taken medication to stave off crazy hallucinations that she can levitate objects. Just when she thinks she’s ready to make a career and a life for herself, her medicine—and her luck—run out.

Elijah Brown suffers from a similar delusion—that he can read minds—and he’s out of medicine too. Determined to save himself and his old flame Holly, he kidnaps her and takes her straight to the source, a town high in the Rockies where their medicine is made. What they discover there leads them to suspect their powers are not imaginary after all…and neither is the intense attraction they feel for each other.

They make a pact to stick together as they return to Vegas to confront the people who kept them in the dark so long. But soon they’re pitting their powers against each other in a dangerous world where the nightlife is seductive, domination is addictive, the sex is beyond belief…and falling in love is murder.

My thoughts

Elijah asks Holly out on a date during their sophomore year of high school. When her parents find out, they force Holly to break the date and give her a flimsy excuse. While stewing in her anger, she discovers she can levitate objects (including herself) with her mind. Her parents walk in on the levitating and suddenly she’s in a doctor’s office being told she has a terrible disease that gives her delusions. To stave off the symptoms, she must take medication for the rest of her life. Elijah discovers that very that night that he has the same disease, and must take medication to prevent his delusions of being a mind reader. Seven years later, when the pharmacy runs out of the medicine, Elijah becomes so desperate for more that he kidnaps Holly and drives all night to the source. Once there, they figure out that they don’t actually have a disease, they have real powers.

Holly was an interesting character, a bit unusual in the new adult genre. She was a showgirl, and perfectly comfortable parading on stage in a spangled bikini. She was smart and determined and (gasp!) a virgin. (Why is that always supposed to be such a shocker?) She had a nice relationship with her parents, they were a tight family who spent a lot of time together. Elijah was close to his mother, with no father in the picture. Considering they lived in Vegas and worked in a casino, they were pretty average kids.

Their parents, however, were awful people. They knew their children had these powers, and instead of teaching them how to be responsible with them, they scared them into thinking they had a horrible scary disease, then drugged them. In fact, a lot of the adults were real asshats. The old “We’re doing it to protect the kids” excuse didn’t cut it.

There were a lot of little bits that bothered me. Like how Elijah and Holly just accepted their diagnoses with no question. I don’t know about you, but when I get the tiniest little symptom, I’m on WebMD checking to make sure I don’t have the bubonic plague. But they never did the first Google search. Even 7 years later, they still took those pills without question. Speaking of their pills – the name of the miracle drug was Mentafixol. As in “Mental Fix All.” How cheesy is that? Also (highlight the text to view the spoiler), Holly and Elijah were practically in love, then within a few short minutes, they were threatening real violence to each other. Holly’s best friend betrayed her and she was okay with that? And not to be too picky, but “the sex is beyond belief” is quite the exaggeration. There’s 1 sex scene total, and it’s not all that spectacular. There was definite chemistry, but nothing I would consider super sexy.

And this was probably the thing that bugged me the most – Holly spent at least 3 quarters of the book in her showgirl outfit – a sparkly sequined bikini and heels. That’s all. She walked around Vegas in it, rode a mass transit bus in it, slept in it overnight, then continued to wear it while walking around another town. Never once did she suggest stopping at a WalMart to pick up some shorts, or that she might be uncomfortable or underdressed. That just smacked of improbability.

There were also a few unanswered questions (I really dislike those). For example, one scene clearly described how someone used their keys to open a slot machine specifically to touch the metal inside while exerting their powers. But why they had to that was never explained. I can only assume that the metal helped to conduct powers…?

That was a lot of nitpicking, so let me mention some of the things that I liked about the book. It was very zippy and the plot sped along, so I was never bored. The writing was very descriptive and I enjoyed the dialogue. I loved how strong Holly was, she was confident and friendly. The chemistry between her and Elijah was great, lots of sexual tension and longing looks.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to overcome my issues with the book. Near the end, in the middle of the climactic final scenes, I literally found myself thinking “I really should care about what’s happening.” But I didn’t. I honestly didn’t care how the book ended, but by then there was less than a chapter left, so I figured I’d just finish it.

The sum up

I just couldn’t get into the book. I didn’t connect with any of the characters and had only a mild interest in what happened to them. On the plus side, it was a quick and entertaining read.

About the author

Jennifer Echols
Jennifer Echols was born in Atlanta and grew up in a small town on a beautiful lake in Alabama—a setting that has inspired many of her books. She has written nine romantic novels for young adults, including the comedy MAJOR CRUSH, which won the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the drama GOING TOO FAR, which was a finalist in the RITA, the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the Book Buyer’s Best, and was nominated by the American Library Association as a Best Book for Young Adults. Simon & Schuster will debut her adult romance novels in 2013, with many more teen novels scheduled for the next few years. She lives in Birmingham with her husband and her son.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Purchase

Amazon | Kobo | eBooks.com | Barnes & Noble

Other opinions

Bewitched Bookworms | Book Labyrinth | Katie’s Book Blog

Review: Teeth by Hannah Moskowitz

Title: Teeth
Author: Hannah Moskowitz
Publisher: January 1st 2013 by Simon Pulse
Format: Hardcover, 288 pages
Source: Edelweiss

 

Summary

Be careful what you believe in.

Rudy’s life is flipped upside-down when his family moves to a remote island in a last attempt to save his sick younger brother. With nothing to do but worry, Rudy sinks deeper and deeper into loneliness and lies awake at night listening to the screams of the ocean beneath his family’s rickety house.

Then he meets Diana, who makes him wonder what he even knows about love, and Teeth, who makes him question what he knows about anything. Rudy can’t remember the last time he felt so connected to someone, but being friends with Teeth is more than a little bit complicated. He soon learns that Teeth has terrible secrets. Violent secrets. Secrets that will force Rudy to choose between his own happiness and his brother’s life.

My thoughts

Rudy’s little brother has cystic fibrosis and is steadily going downhill. His parents find out about this remote island with fish that heal the sick so they up and move the family there. The island is full of mostly elderly people who must stay on the island in order to remain healthy. With only his little brother to keep him company, Rudy quickly grows bored. Things start to look up when he meets Diana, a reclusive girl about his age. Then he meets Teeth and suddenly, he has all the excitement he can take.

Umm… I just… Where do I…? Okay, here goes: this book was weird. Not good weird, or even bad weird. Just weird. The characters were … unusual. Rudy was a typical older brother; he cared about his little brother and wanted to help him, but he was also angry over everything he’d lost in order for his brother to get better. The boy’s parents were singularly focused on making Dylan healthy, to the exclusion of their other son. Diana was reclusive because both she and her mother were hiding something from the island. She was very naiive and coy, but also very trusting. I think she was just lonely. Teeth, well, he was Teeth. Teeth was a half-fish/half-man who was targeted by the island’s fishermen because he tried to protect the fish that the islanders needed to eat. He was angry and shy and curious and protective.

The plot was interesting enough. I liked the idea of the magical fish that could heal anyone. The fact that anyone who was sick must stay on the island as long as they wanted to stay healthy, effectively trapping them there for life, was creepy and interesting. The story of Teeth’s early life was sad and interesting. There were some definite high points in the book, like the friendship between Teeth and Rudy. It bordered on a romantic relationship, but it was never defined as one or the other. I felt that was realistic and honest, just like Rudy’s pseudo-relationship with Diana. Was it or wasn’t it? Did it really have to be named? The writing was easy enough to follow. The sentences followed more of a train-of-thought approach, as opposed to standard sentences. It worked in this story, though; it matched Rudy’s attitude perfectly.

I was able to go along with the idea of magic fish and even a fish boy, until one point in the novel, about 2/3 of the way in. Something happened then that was so far out of left field, it pulled me right out of the story. It was the very definition of jumping the shark. From that point on, I had a hard time staying in the story. It just ruined the whole thing for me. If you’re curious about the particular scene, it is mentioned in several Goodreads reviews, feel free to seek those out.

There is a lot of cussing and you see the aftermath of rape. Descripitvely.

So many people praise this book on their blogs and on Goodreads, so I was surprised with my feelings for it. Perhaps I’m not cerebral or abstract enough to appreciate the writing? Either way, though I felt it was okay, I will not actively seek out any of Hannah Moskowitz’s other works.

The sum up

While I appreciate the story telling and dialogue, I don’t think this author and I clicked.

Connect with the author

website
blog
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads

Purchase

The Book Depository
Amazon hardback
Kindle
Nook
Barnes & Noble paperback
Books A Million hardcover

Other opinions

Step Into Fiction
Writing Through Rose Tinted Glasses
Kayla’s Reads and Reviews (this one has spoilers)