Friday, September 27, 2013

Reading Right Now! Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone by Kat Rosenfield

Title: Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone
Author: Kat Rosenfield
What I'm Reading Right Now! is Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone by Kat Rosenfield. I was very excited to find this book at my library and I grabbed it. The synopsis and cover both looked so interesting that I just had to read it. The story is about this girl named Becca who lives in this super small town that she can't wait to get out of. The day after Becca's high school graduation, a girl's battered, broken, and dead body is found on the side of the road. The girl is an outsider to the town, but her murder has an unsettling effect. The whole town is riveted to the story to find out who the girl is and who murdered her. Becca's own life starts to disintegrate around her. She's not sure where her relationship stands with her boyfriend, if she'll indeed leave town to go to college, and her parent's relationship seems to be on the rocks as well.
As of right now, I'm enjoying this book, but I'm not loving it. My main problem is the writing style. At first, I thought it was very pretty and almost lyrical. It's full of description and pretty phrases. Upon further reading, that pretty, flowery language gets in the way of the story. There is too much space devoted to just description of things or tangents that seem to come from nowhere, and the real story of Amelia Anne and Becca seems to get put on the back burner. As of right now, it seems the author is focusing more on style and pretty language than the actual story. When I read, I like the books to be well written, but I also like them to get to the point and tell me what's happening or what's going to happening. It just feels like I'm having to slug through this writing and struggle to get to the real story underneath. I'm not saying it's a bad book. The story (when she actually focuses and tells me it) is really interesting and I want to find out what happens to Becca and the conclusion of Amelia Anne, but I'm just having to force myself through all these overly descriptive and unneeded passages.
I would also say that this book would not be my number one recommendation for YA readers. It just feels a little more adult to me in writing style and some subject matter. There's kinda a lot of sex in this book which I can't say I was expecting.
Sorry for the length of this post. I guess I just really wanted to share all my thoughts and feels with you guys regarding Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone. It's a very interesting story, but the writing style takes away a little of the enjoyment that comes from reading it. So that's it for what I'm Reading Right Now! Tell me what you're Reading Right Now! in the comments below if you want to. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Reading Right Now! Blackhearted Betrayal by Kasey Mackenzie

Title: Blackhearted Betrayal (Shades of Fury #3)
Author: Kasey Mackenzie
What I'm Reading Right Now! is Blackhearted Betrayal by Kasey Mackenzie. This is the third book in the Shades of Fury series. I read the first book, Red Hot Fury, quite a while ago and loved it. Then I went on to read the second book, Green-Eyed Envy, and thought it was an okay story with a little too much going on in it. In Blackhearted Betrayal I'm currently on page 223 of 294 pages, so I'm really close to being done with it. This book is just turning out to be another okay read for me. I'm not in love with it, but I don't hate it either. Blackhearted Betrayal picks up right where Green-Eyed Envy left off. This proved a little bit of a challenge since I had read Green-Eyed Envy quite awhile ago, so I didn't remember all of the backstory right off the bat. This story is very fast paced and is definitely full of action. This is a really fun urban fantasy series that I do enjoy reading. I really enjoy reading about the characters and this cool world that Kasey Mackenzie has created. I am confused as to whether this is the last book in the series or if there are more to come. According to Goodreads, there seems to be no books following this one. I am enjoying this book, but it just doesn't live up to the awesomeness of the first book. This is a cool series that does blend urban fantasy, Greek mythology, Egyptian mythology, and various other creatures. If all that doesn't sell you, then how about how the main character Riss is a Fury! So yeah, I'm enjoying this book.
So that's it for what I'm Reading Right Now! Tell me what you're Reading Right Now! in the comments below.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Review: Help for the Haunted by John Searles

Help for the Haunted
Title: Help for the Haunted
Author: John Searles
Published by: William Morrow imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Released: September 17, 2013
Summary: Sylvie Mason's childhood hasn't exactly been a normal one. Her parents, Rose and Sylvester Mason, are demonologists who specialize in helping haunted people and curing haunted places. Her parents travel the world giving lectures and helping people who believe themselves to be haunted. 
One night Sylvie's parents get a call to meet with someone at an old church. Sylvie goes with them and waits in the backseat of the car. Her parents never come out of that church alive. They were murdered and Sylvie has identified the man she believes killed her parents. Now living with her older sister Rose in their old house, Sylvie is haunted by that crime that took her parents and all the parts of their lives that led up to it. Jumping back and forth in time, Sylvie must solve the mystery of what really happened to her family before it's too late.
My Thoughts: I won this book from the Goodreads FirstReads program and I'm so happy I did. I wasn't sure what to expect from this book, but I thoroughly enjoyed every second of it. Help for the Haunted is a very different story from the ones I usually read. The action is muted, with the majority of importance being placed on the characters and how they come to be the people that they are. Their motivations, flaws, and the knowledge that we sometimes make people out to be better than they actually are.
I had no idea what was going to happen in this book and being able to witness Sylvie discovering and putting all the puzzle pieces together was just a fun, literary journey to go on.
The whole book had a sort of eerie, creepy feel from the artifact hatchet used to murder a whole family to the terrifying rag doll Penny. I was tensing myself up for scares galore, even though those never really came. This is definitely a great Halloween book, but instead of ghost and goblins, the reader is introduced to the monsters that humans can be.
One thing I really loved was how my perceptions of the characters changed throughout the story. The layers of each person were peeled back and some characters exposed some rotten parts. There are no ultimately good or ultimately bad characters. I also enjoyed the complexities of Rose and Sylvie's relationship as sisters. There was definitely love between them, but their life together was full of problems. Rose was not a good guardian for Sylvie and I wondered if she was even trying to be.
I really enjoyed Help for the Haunted. It was different then anything I've ever really read. The whole story is building up to this climatic ending and it did deliver. If you're looking for a creepy book for Halloween that will keep you reading into the wee hours of the night, then give Help for the Haunted a chance. Such a good book and so glad I was lucky enough to win this. I just might check out another book of John Searles', because Help for the Haunted has left me interested in what his other novels might be like.
A great story with fascinating characters and an intense mystery.
Review also up on goodreads:

Friday, September 13, 2013

Reading Right Now! Help for the Haunted by John Searles

Help for the Haunted
Title: Help for the Haunted
Author: John Searles
Release Date: September 17, 2013
So what I'm Reading Right Now! is Help for the Haunted by John Searles. I won this book through the Goodreads FirstReads program and I'm really happy I did. It's about this girl named Sylvie Mason and her parents are ghost hunters/demonologists. One night, they get a call to go to this church. They take Sylvie with them and she stays in the back seat. When her parents don't come out, Sylvie goes to investigate and finds them murdered in the church. It's kind of a ghost/mystery/family story that jumps back and forth in time, detailing the events of Sylvie's life with her parents and their murder. I'm probably about 93% done with this book and I'm really, really enjoying it. I'm curious to learn who murdered Sylvie's parents and what's going to happen to her. This is unlike the majority of books that I read in how it's really focused on the characters and their motives. Also my feelings for certain characters have changed as I've read farther in the book. I definitely recommend this one and will be posting a full review on its release date, which really isn't that far away.
So that's what I'm Reading Right Now! Tell me what you're reading in the comments below.