Sunday, June 26, 2011

Overbite

Overbite, by Meg Cabot.

"Why do you hate him so much?" she asked. "You're always calling him a soulless monster. And yet that night at St. George's, he didn't kill you when he had the chance. In fact, he protected you. And Father Bernard, and Sister Gertrude, and me, and even those firefighters who came to dig us out. Instead, he killed his own kind. Was that the act of a soulless monster? When are you going to admit that not every demon is one hundred percent evil, just like not every human is one hundred percent good? When, Alaric? When?"

He tore his gaze from the road to look at her.


I randomly received this book in the mail the other day (I was not expecting it) and was excited because it was a Meg Cabot book. However, I soon figured out that it was the sequel to Insatiable, which I reviewed last year, and that made me even happier to read it.

Meena has been trying to stay away from Lucien Antonescu, the son of Vlad the Impaler (aka Dracula), but he always seems to come back to her. She and her coworker, Alaric Wulf, must figure out why there have been so many deaths of tourists in NYC recently, and why these haven't been all over the news either, and Alaric, who despises Lucien, thinks Lucien has something to do with it. The circumstances of their deaths, however, end up being something completely the opposite of what they expected.

This book was just as whimsical as the first, although it has a lot of serious parts in it as well, and I liked it very much. Cabot's books are usually good, but the fact that she can write a series like The Princess Diaries, which I enjoyed when I was a teenager, and also write fiction such as this says a lot about her skills as a novelist. The book definitely sets itself up for another sequel so I am hoping one will be out soon; on Cabot's website, in the FAQ section, when someone asked if there will be a sequel, she cryptically answered "Are you sure you want one?" so there is no definite answer on that as of yet; however, on the Facebook fan page for the first novel (Insatiable), it says that it will be a trilogy, and so I look forward to the next book in the series.

4 stars out of 5.

Overbite will be in bookstores on July 5th, 2011.

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book to review. However, the opinions listed are all my own.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Things We Didn't Say

Things We Didn't Say, by Kristina Riggle.

She gets off the line before I have a chance to rally myself to be talkative. As her one remaining child I should be able to do this for her, just talk on the phone, is that so hard?

I heave myself out of the car to go get the milk, considering that maybe the mundane chores of housekeeping are all I can manage, and perhaps I should leave the emotional work of being a family to someone else, someone equal to the task.


This is Kristina Riggle's third book (she is also the author of Real Life & Liars and The Life You've Imagined) and it was just as good as, if not better, than both of those. The story follows Casey, who is engaged to Michael, father of 3 kids with Mallory, who, most days, is mentally unbalanced (ie, a "crazy lady"). Casey wants to eventually marry and have kids with Michael, but she is worried that he won't be up to having a fourth child, especially because he is 36 or so and she is 26. Two of the children are fine with her but the oldest, Angel, has read her diary, and knows her secrets; even before that, she has hated her. Casey is thinking of leaving Michael and his family, and intends to do so, but then a family crisis happens, and she feels obligated to stay for a few more days.

What I liked about this novel was that each chapter was from the point of view of one of the different characters, including Casey, Michael, Mallory, and the children: Angel, Dylan, and Jewel. This really helps the reader to "get into their heads," so to speak, and it was an interesting way to choose to write the novel. The family crisis actually ends up bringing Casey closer to Michael, in the end, and it is interesting to think of what would have happened with her and Michael had the crisis not ended up occurring.

4.5 stars out of 5.

*Disclaimer: I was provided a finished copy of this book for review; however, the opinions listed are my own. Things We Didn't Say will be in bookstores on Tuesday, June 28th.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares, by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan.

But Langston repeated, "Lily, you just don't understand. What you need is someone to keep you occupied. You need a boyfriend.

Well sure, who
doesn't need a boyfriend? But realistically, those exotic creatures are hard to come by. At least a quality one. I go to an all-girls school, and meaning no disrespect to my sapphic sisters, but I have no interest in finding a romantic companion there. The rare boy creatures I do meet who aren't either related to me or who aren't gay are usually too attached to their Xboxes to notice me, or their idea of how a teenage girl should look and act comes directly from the pages of Maxim magazine or from the tarty look of a video game character.

This book was hilarious. Cohn and Levithan have written a few books together, one of which was Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, later made into a movie with Michael Cera and Kat Dennings in the lead roles. This novel was about Lily, who hides a red Moleskin notebook at the Strand (a famous NYC bookstore, which I've actually been to a few times), and waits for someone to find it. She leaves clues in the notebook and Dash, a teenage boy, happens to find it. This novel chronicles their "notebook affair," so to speak, and shows what happens when they actually do meet each other face-to-face.

4.5 stars out of 5.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Abandon

Abandon, by Meg Cabot.

I'd known from the fact that I hadn't been able to keep away from the cemetery that I was drawn to him.

But I'd been telling myself it had just been because of the unfinished business between us. And the fact that he kept going around trying to kill people on my behalf. How could I ever have anticipated what I'd heard in Richard Smith's office? Or
this ... the immediate chemical reaction that seemed to occur when our lips met? My mouth was still tingling.

What did any of it mean? Where could it go? He was a death deity. I was a senior in high school.

This was never going to work.


I was surprised that this book was written by Meg Cabot (she of the Princess Diaries series and others) but it is one of the best (kind of) sci-fi books I have read recently. It's loosely based on the myth of Persephone and Hades, and it is part one of an Underworld trilogy; on Cabot's website, it says the second book, Underworld, will be out next summer (summer 2012). I can't wait until then!

Pierce meets John when she is 7, when she is in the cemetery after her grandfather's funeral. He brings a dead bird back to life. She meets him again when she dies at age 15 ... and then two years later, at 17, very much alive. He is not Hades, but something similar, and he "works" in the Underworld that is located underneath Isla Huesos, helping people to their respective afterlives (heaven or hell). Pierce is attracted to him, though, and even more so when she meets him again at 17; he has saved her life a few times since she was 15 as well, which even makes him more attractive.

This book was really interesting and the next in the series will hopefully be just as good. You can hear Cabot's "voice" (similar to that of Mia's in Princess Diaries) in Pierce, and she proves to be a compelling character. I found a lot of similarities in Pierce and John's relationship to that of Edward's and Bella's in the Twilight series, most of all being that they are two completely different creatures - one a human, another something else - but they still fall for each other, and Edward (in this case, John) is always there to protect her when she needs protecting.

5 stars out of 5.

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