Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn | Book Review

Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn | Book ReviewAnother Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn
Publisher/Year: HarperTeen- June 11, 2013
Genres: Paranormal YA, YA Horror
Format: ARC
Source: For Review
Other Books From Author: Don't You Forget About Me (upcoming -- 2014)
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I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way swayed my opinion. Pinky swear!

 

 

 

Annaliese wakes up and finds herself covered in blood with no idea where she is or even WHO she is. As she finds help, she comes to find out who she is and is reunited with her parents. She finds out that the last time she was seen was in the woods at a party and she came screaming and soaked with blood and then was never seen again. While her memory still evades her, she has the sense that she is not the real Annaliese and she’s having strange dreams and visions that support her theory. These dreams show her other girls and some grisly things and slowly she starts to put together the pieces as these memories come more frequently. What she finds out is more frightening than she could have ever imagined.

 

My brain is one big pile of mush after this book and I’m really so confused about my thoughts. Is it possible to not know what I thought about this book? Because that’s what my brain is telling me. It’s all, “Jamie. Just give up. I can’t give you definite thoughts about this matter and it hurts to try” Seriously, a whole lot of mind WTFery going on here with this book. I can’t tell if I loved it intensely or if I was just confused in a bad way so I’ll just share my reading experience instead.

So basically, if you’ve read the synopsis, you know that the main character has no idea who she is. She’s been missing and then suddenly is found wandering in a town far away from her own with blood on her. They tell her who she is and she just suspects that she’s not that person. She can’t remember anything but something tells her she’s not. So immediately I’m like is this a Pretty Girl-13 situation? WHAT IS HAPPENING? What did she block out because it was so terrible? Is this in her head?  Is there something dark and paranormal going on? And then, as these dreams/memories start happening while she’s trying to settle into this weird life that seems to not be hers, it gets creepy and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough because it was so fascinating. I was just clamoring for some clarity as to what was going on!

I’ll be honest — you need to be a very patient kind of reader for this one because it is more madness and confusion for most of the book and it takes a while for things to come together and form a semi-clear picture as to what is happening and even then I spent a lot of time being confused and throwing out “WTF’s” like it was my job. If you like books that mess with your mind a bit and can be patient, this might be your thing. I know a LOT of people who had to put it down because the confusion wasn’t worth it which was the opposite for me. I personally was more intrigued than anything and the strangeness of it kept me reading — it wasn’t like anything I had ever read before — very macabre, disturbing and dark and not altogether what I expected. There are a lot of flashback sort of things interspersed with the present story and those flashbacks jump around a bit so that adds to the confusion in ways. It’s one of those really disjointed styles that just leaves you unsettled, disoriented and not quite with a grasp on what is happening — you feel like you are losing your mind a bit.

I don’t want to say a lot to give anything away plot-wise or to make it easier for you to guess what is going on. I’ll say the one area of certain disappointment came for me more towards the end. I had been wided eyed, furiously turning the pages and feeling upside down and inside out while reading and then when things came together more it wasn’t AS compelling (still compelling though). BUT I was still curious to know the origins of what was happening and I felt like at the end I still didn’t understand what fully happened (physician, brujas). I think if I wouldn’t have felt that way at the very end this book would have been a damn near perfect book for me.

Undoubtedly one of the strangest books I’ve ever read in my entire life. I don’t know what way is up or down with this book. Written in this terrifyingly beautiful and haunting way, it completely sucked me into Annaliese’s story of not knowing who she is and then slowly putting the pieces together to learn who she is. I spent most of the time confused — a good confused for the most part — and it was very motivating for me as a reader because I was dying to know what happened and my brain couldn’t even comprehend what was going on in this very macabre and creepy story. I’m a patient reader and I think you need to be one, as well as love wildly strange things, to enjoy this book. I can’t make a sweeping recommending for it for that reason. The only thing I’m certain that made this perfect NOT a perfect book for me was that I just still wasn’t sure at the end if I really GOT what happened. I think I did but I don’t know.

another-little-piece-review

 

Let’s Talk: Have you read this one?? Heard about it? If you’ve read this one, what did you think? I know some people either HATED it or couldn’t even finish it but then there was those that LOVED it. It was definitely daring and different. PLEASE TALK TO ME ABOUT IT! Mark your comments as spoilers please if discussing with me :)

Review: Beyond by Graham McNamee

Book Title/Author: Beyond: A Ghost Story by Graham McNamee
Publisher/Year: Wendy Lamb Books (imprint of Random House) 2012
Genre: YA Horror/Paranormal
Series: No.
Other Books From Author: Acceleration, Bonechiller, Hate You

Amazon| Goodreads | About Graham McNamee

 

On the outside it may appear to people that Jane is clumsy, reckless or maybe suicidal. After all, she’s had some near fatal accidents. But only Jane and her best friend, Lexi, know the truth about all Jane’s “accidents” and how it’s her own shadow that take hold of her body and guides her to do these things. As Jane and Lexi work to figure out what’s happening to Jane they find a connection to Jane’s shadow mystery they would have never believed.

I thought this book was really creepy — not scary — but just plain ol’ creepy. I mean, I just think about the premise of your shadow warring against you and making you do things that you don’t want to do and it gives me the heebie jeebies. So many of the things that go bump in the night are outside forces and this one is something that is inside you and you can’t even control! Seriously, it could be a cool movie, I think. I mean, let’s recap here: HER SHADOW IS TRYING TO KILL HER. The premise alone simultaneously creeped me out yet thrilled me.

Beyond by Graham McNamee was very slim in size but it was one of those books that you really felt like you got this very whole and complete story — which was nice considering I’ve been reading SO many series. It was just darn nice to have a paranormal-like story and have it be a standalone. I read this SO quickly because it’s pacing is so great! I just kept wondering — is she possessed or is it a ghost or is her shadow an actual entity. And then when other things were revealed I was  even more intrigued! I did think that they ending was a little predictable, at least to me, but it still was enjoyable nonetheless.

And let me tell you, I love Jane and Lexi! They were awesome characters and I love seeing a pair of besties who are THIS close. They had a really awesome bond and I have to say that I loved that a romance didn’t get inserted as the main plot in this book. I don’t want to give anything away regarding the plot but I’ll say there is somebody Jane has her eye on but it’s not a driving force of this novel!

This was a perfect addition to my Halloween reading! It was a quick and creepy read that gave me something more unusual to read about! I mean, your own shadow tries to kill you on multiple occasions? I loved the path to figuring out the how’s and why’s of Jane’s shadow and was thoroughly engaged the whole time. If you are looking for a quick ghost-y/paranormal book that’s creepy, but not scary, and is NOT a series, I’d say pick this one up! Also, if you are wanting a break from a romance or a love triangle plot, this might be your thang.

 

For Fans Of: YA Horror, ghost stories, paranormal type stories without the romance focus (there IS a love interest but it’s not the focus), love triangles or sequels

 

Let’s Talky Talk: Have you read this one? Heard of it? What did you think if you have read it? What other good, truly creepy reads have you encountered? The bigger the creep factor the better!

Review: Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Book Title/Author: Ten by Gretchen McNeil
Publisher/Year: HarperTeen
Genre: YA Horror
Series: No.
Other Books From Author: Possess

Amazon| Goodreads |Gretchen McNeil’s Website

I received this for review from the publisher. This did not sway my opinions in any way.

 

Best friends Meg & Minnie are invited to the super exclusive weekend house party thrown by one of the most popular girls at school. As they arrive at the party at her vacation home on Henry Island, they are immediately whisked into the fun by Meg’s crush TJ — a boy she has a secret history with & that Minnie has been in love with — and Ben — a hot friend of the hostess who Minnie clings to right away. As the party gets started and the friends start having fun, it takes a turn to the sinister upon discovering a creepy video that threatens the ten party-goers. When the body count starts climbing and they find themselves with no electricity or way of getting off the island, everyone is on edge with the video’s threats in mind and starts turning on each other. Can Meg figure out the killer before it’s too late? Is it someone they know or is it somebody else that wasn’t at the party?


Please understand that all I read during my middle school years was RL Stine and Christopher Pike along with some other horror books. I love the horror genre but have really neglected it these days. Ten by Gretchen McNeil excites me in the same way that those books did. I love a good scary slasher-y story where I’m changing my mind every couple of pages of who the killer is and the big twisted WHY. It was everything I loved about those books and movies like Scream & I Know What You Did Last Summer — which every teen in the 90′s loved despite wanting to pee their pants and learned that you ALWAYS, ALWAYYYYS MAKE SURE THE BADDIE IS DEAD LEST THEY REACH OUT AND TRY TO GRAB YOU AGAIN!

The thing I loved most about Ten by Gretchen McNeil is how she kept me guessing the whole way through. I had so many theories swirling about my head and pointed the guilty finger at just about every character at the party and invented scenarios in which it could be someone outside of the party. I seriously had a BALL trying to figure out who the killer was and WHY they did it. But you know what, I did NOT guess that ending nor who it was…though I initially had my suspicions of who it was but they were fleeting so SHOCKER. I went back and read the part where I suspected that person and MAN, I was SO CLOSE. Because of this crazy guessing game I devoured this like a hungry animal but it also helped that Gretchen McNeil created some really gruesome (albeit not graphic) death scenes and crazy tension-filled situations where you just didn’t know what to expect. Props to her writing for setting the scene of the creepy house & creepy island!

I think that, while it satiated my love for a quick horror story, that it really just stayed on par with the 100′s of teen horror novels I read in the 90′s…it never rose above those. What I mean is that I enjoyed it but it wasn’t ground-breaking to the genre; almost stayed true to the “formula”. There were a lot of times where it clung very close to the cliched tropes in teen slasher type horror and, like those books for me, I really never thought the characterization wasn’t that great — seriously, lots of cliches and unlikeable characters who you never end up caring about (some because they just die so soon naturally). They are books that I really enjoy and devour quickly but most of them blend in. I think they are great for quick, fun (?) reads that give you a little bit of a fright but that’s where it stayed. Also, I have to say I thought sometimes the reactions of the characters and the things they were thinking of and talking about in the midst of a big slaying of their friends were just so strange to me. Rather than being worried about a boy I’d be worried about not DYING so maybe I could like enjoy a boy again. JUST SAYING.

I also hear that this was based on an Agatha Christie novel (And Then There Were None) and that if you LOVED that novel you might have a hard time with this one. I can’t compare Ten to that since never having read And Then There Were None so that wasn’t a problem for me.

If you loved books from RL Stine & Christopher Pike or movies like Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer when you were a teen, then I think you’ll enjoy Ten by Gretchen McNeil. It’s got all the riveting action and pulse-racing tension with a body count and the ability to keep you guessing until the very end. It was a good read but not stand-out in the genre for me. It wasn’t honestly that scary; more mysterious than anything. It was a perfect start to my Halloween reading binge nonetheless and begged to be compulsively read for the action & the mystery of WHO the killer was and WHY he or she was after them.

 

For Fans Of: YA horror, slasher films like Scream & I Know What You Did Last Summer, Christopher Pike & RL Stine books from the 90′s

 

Let’s Talky Talk: Have you read this one? Heard of it? What did you think if you have read it? Were you able to guess the killer? What other horror novels do you recommend? And I HAVE TO KNOW…were you huge Christopher Pike or RL Stine fans like me??

Review: Envy by Elizabeth Miles

This is the 2nd book in a series, friends. Spoilers from book 1 are floating about. Please read my review of Fury by Elizabeth Miles (book 1) or scroll all the way down to read my review on a post-it with non-spoilery thoughts.

Book Title/Author: Envy by Elizebeth Miles (The Fury Trilogy #2)
Publisher/Year: : Simon & Schuster-  September 4th 2012
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Fiction
Series: Yes, this is book #2 in the series.
Other Books From Author: Fury by Elizabeth Miles (book one in this series)

Amazon| Goodreads | Elizabeth Miles’ Website

After the death of popular football star Chase & making a deal with the Furies so they didn’t harm her very best friend JD, Em thinks she’s dealt with the Furies for now so she pours herself into learning about them & why they might be in Ascension and tries to make amends with Gabby and a cold JD who is shutting her out. Meanwhile, the new girl in town, Skylar, has her own secrets. Now that she’s living with her grandmother, she’s free of her alcoholic mother and her perfect older sister and she can forge her own path to popularity and be everything her family never thought she’d be — at any cost. Luckily for Skylar, in addition to popular Gabby who has befriended her & helped her get the ins to Acension’s social scene, she’s got three beautiful sisters who want to help her out…or so she thinks.

I’ll start with this — Envy was fan-freaking-tastic and really made me love this series more! I always am nervous to start the second book in a trilogy for fear of the dreaded second-book-in-the-series syndrome. You know…where nothing really happens at all and it just sets up for the rest of the series. If I’m being honest, Envy, the sequel to Fury, unfortunately does have some symptoms of  this Second Book syndrome but doesn’t necessarily fail because of it or SUFFER fully from it..for me at least.

Especially when compared with Fury, it seems like there isn’t much happening in this sequel. It just doesn’t have that same pacing or action that I personally felt with Fury. It also didn’t feel nearly as dark or creepy. That was one of the biggest things I loved about Envy — it was so dark and creepy and the Furies really were something out of a horror movie for me. Envy seemed like it was a lot more high school politics and Mean Girl-esque plotlines until the middle/end.

A lot of that “feeling like the sinister & dark factor wasn’t there” feeling was, I think, because the plotline with Em revolved around her researching and learning more about the Furies in the beginning with not too many appearances of them and a lot of the Furies BIG appearances that revealed things were from the middle to the end. And the new character Skylar, the new girl in town & the alternating point of view in this one, has a very catty and conniving role and her dealings with the Furies are very different than how we’ve seen them.

Envy makes up for the “symptoms” with its compulsive readability and some really great characters both new and old. Skylar, well she just BROUGHT the high school drama with her desperate need to fit in, be pretty and popular and get her way no matter the cost. Speaking of her, I really loved Skylar’s alternating point of view in contrast with Em’s. She was incredibly compelling though I wanted to bitch slap her for a good chunk of this book but it was evident as we learned more about her that there was more that meets the eye. I really loved her chapters to be honest. I couldn’t put them down. Em became a lot more likeable this time around and DREA.  Love Drea!

Once I finished the book and was thinking about how it lacked the creep factor,  I realized that, all along in the beginning, I DID feel kind of unsettled — like there was something eerie just lurking in the shadows. When I watched the Furies toy with Skylar, I just was sitting there waiting with bated breath knowing what kind of destruction they caused before on people’s lives. When Em was researching the Furies and things seemed calm to her, I was waiting for them to strike again and even more  brutally. I was waiting for her to uncover something terrifying or unsettling. It’s what drove me to read faster and faster. So while the creepy factor may not have ultimately felt as intense in the beginning, it’s there! It just lingered throughout and them BAM..you better sleep with a nightlight on because IT GETS REAL. And the ending. OH MY. OH MY. Miles’ writes this in such a way that you just keep plowing through to find out WHEN the you know what will hit the fan.

 

But I will say, thumbs down to the whole Crow storyline. How random is he?

 

Envy is an excellent follow-up to Elizabeth Miles’ Fury. It’s poised to be read compulsively and has this  underlying creepy tone that ebbs and flows but is more subtle through most of the novel when compared with Fury. It does have a slight case of Second-Book-Syndrome because there is a lot less that actually happens in this novel nor do we find out anything groundbreaking BUT this isn’t a second book that FULLY succumbs to the Second Book Syndrome. Definitely an underrated series I’d like to see more people pick up if they are looking for TRULY creepy and more horror-filled paranormal that breathes new life into the mythology based Furies but delicately so as it remains true to the vengeful nature of the Furies. It’s not preachy, it’s  full of flawed characters whom you might hate but they become sympathetic when contrasted with the judgement the Furies are hellbent on bringing down on them for being just that — flawed people who make big mistakes. Oh HEY and it’s not all focused on a romance.

YA series about  Furies mythology

 

Let’s talky talk: Have you read this series?  Interested in it? What are some other books you’ve read that deal with revenge and justice for wrongdoings?

Review: Fury by Elizabeth Miles

Fury by Elizabeth Miles
Release Date: August 30, 2011

Read the summary on Goodreads here.

I was incredibly antsy to read Fury after hearing Elizabeth read from it at the Simon & Schuster blogger event at BEA and I was ecstatic when I found out it was in our goodie bags! The premise just really intrigued me. I love paranormal books that incorporate interesting elements from mythology or some completely unique creature that strays from the typical “creatures” in paranormal lit. The idea of placing the Roman goddesses of vengence, the Furies, into the modern world to extract revenge on humans seemed like an interesting concept that could really be built upon. I was so game for it because I really have been getting into Roman and Greek mythology.

The readability of this book was fan-freaking-tastic. I was reading quickly because I was intrigued by the Furies and wanted to find out what their deal was, I wanted to know what Chase did to make the Furies choose him and really it was just one of those stories that just perfectly held my attention and had my eyes furiously moving along the pages. I enjoyed the writing and thought Miles did a good job of pacing the plot…although there were sometimes when I slightly bored with reading about Chase & Em’s dirty little secrets. My overall reading experience was a good one — I flew through it and I finished yearning for the next installment. However, there were some things that did detract from my overall enjoyability of the story that I’d like to mention.

Firstly, don’t go into this book thinking that you are going to want to be bff’s with these characters. They won’t be characters that you will look back fondly on or have warm fuzzy feelings about. I honestly despised most of these characters in this book and it really annoyed me. I’m all for books that have despicable characters…I’ve liked plenty of books where I hated the characters..but I think that is because in some way I found them redeemable at the end or I felt like I learned enough about them to understand why they are that way or that the author was just SO crafty that they had me feeling unexplainable pangs of sympathy for even the most despicable characters.

This did not happen for me really..maybe a tiny bit for Chase but nothing significant. I was already ready to give Emily the stink eye because pretty early on because she breaks one of my Rules of Thumb For Not Being A Biznatch And Bad Friend (KIND OF A SPOILER BUT IT WAS ON OFFICIAL SUMMARY) and that is: “Thou shalt not ever ever EVER even think about your friend’s boyfriend and sexytimes in the same thought. If you do, please go play in traffic” After that I just couldn’t shake my bad feelings towards her. I also thought her bff was annoying, the bff’s boyfriend (Zach) was a major McDouche, the parents mostly sucked. I think maybe I liked Emily’s friend JD but he even kind of bored me & seemed to be that cliched “overlooked best friend who is really in love with you” type.

Elizabeth Miles laid a good foundation for the Furies story but I have to hope that we will see more of the Furies in the next book and learn more about them. They were intriguing and I feel like they still remained a bit of an enigma to me. I wanted to read more about them because at some points I was just over Emily and Chase’s stories. I honestly didn’t care what happened to them too much. I was ready for the Furies to unleash some karma real fast..because the karma that the Furies handed out was not messing around. They were pretty creepy too but I wished we could have learned a bit more aside from how beautiful and ethereal they were. Once the Furies really started to appear and mess with the humans, I found myself way more engaged in the story and plowing through like my life depended on it.

My Final Thought: Overall I really enjoyed this book. It was a fresh take on a truly interesting piece of Roman mythology that I had never heard of. I found myself totally captivated by the Furies and watching their plan unfold. It’s unfortunate that I never found any reason to care about the characters and that the Furies didn’t have more of a presence as I think I would be head over heels for this book. Luckily, Elizabeth Miles had me hooked by the premise of the Furies and that storyline to get me past some of the things I didn’t enjoy. An intriguing, well written story that would make for a pretty freaky movie. Can’t wait to read the next installment…I just have this feeling that the Furies are going to be a bigger part and it will be pretty exciting to see where Miles goes with everything after the action packed ending! So many possibilities!

Review On A Post-It
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