Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Barnes & Noble
Fiercely loyal to the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Phury has sacrificed himself for the good of the race, becoming the male responsible for keeping the Brotherhood's bloodlines alive. As Primale of the Chosen, he is obligated to father the sons and daughters who will ensure that the traditions of the race survive, and that there are warriors to fight those who want all vampires extinguished.
As his first mate, the Chosen Cormia wants to win not only his body, but his heart for herself. She is drawn to the noble responsibility behind the emotionally scarred male. But Phury has never allowed himself to know pleasure or joy. As the war with the Lessening Society grows grim, tragedy looms over the Brotherhood's mansion, and Phury must decide between duty and love....
Another amazing read in Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series. This one focused less on the romance between Phury and Cormia and more on what was going on around them, with the Brotherhood as a whole. A lot happens in this book in regards to the war between the vampires and the lessers. I liked the change of pace, since the Romance genre isn't really my thing.
Friday, October 21, 2011
Barnes & Noble
Flirtin' with the Monster pulls back the curtain on Ellen Hopkins' smart and daring books Crank and Glass and explores their appeal and originality through a compilation of serious yet fascinating essays.
In addition to fan essays, Flirtin' with the Monster takes a deeper look at the issues behind Ellen Hopkins' bestselling novels by allowing the real teenage girl who inspired the meth-addicted main character to contribute an essay.
Reading this collection of essays after reading the Crank trilogy was a disappointment. Ellen Hopkins' writing is powerful, and I expected these essays to speak to that power (and therefore be strong themselves). Instead, I noticed grammatical errors and "fluffy" writing from a judge.
I did enjoy reading "Kristina's" and her family's essays. They provided an additional insight into Kristina's addiction and how her family coped. And is still coping.
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Barnes & Noble
Crank. Glass. Ice. Crystal. Whatever you call it, it's all the same: a monster. And once it's got hold of you, this monster will never let you go.
Kristina thinks she can control it. Now with a baby to care for, she's determined to be the one deciding when and how much, the one calling the shots. But the monster is too strong, and before she knows it, Kristina is back in its grips. She needs the monster to keep going, to face the pressures of day-to-day life. She needs it to feel alive.
Once again the monster takes over Kristina's life and she will do anything for it, including giving up the one person who gives her the unconditional love she craves -- her baby.
The sequel to Crank, this is the continuing story of Kristina and her descent back to hell. Told in verse, it's a harrowing and disturbing look at addiction and the damage that it inflicts.
Another amazing book in the Crank trilogy. Ellen Hopkins is fast becoming one of my favorite authors. Her books are quick -- yet powerful -- reads.
It's hard to relate to and root for a character like Kristina: she's rude, shallow, and abandons her baby. The way Hopkins weaves the story, however, makes you feel for her and hope that she turns her life around. My heart broke as Kristina made bad decision after bad decision. She knew what she was doing was wrong and was powerless in the face of her addiction.
This book hits close to home: I'm terrified of what my children will have to face when they're teenagers.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Barnes & Noble
Butch O'Neal is a fighter by nature. A hard-living ex-homicide cop, he's the only human ever to be allowed in the inner circle of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. And he wants to go even deeper into the vampire world-to engage in the turf war with the lessers.
I probably shouldn't be reading this series back-to-back-to-back; they are all starting to blend together. Thankfully, I am completely in love with the world that J.R. Ward has created.
I have never been a fan of the romance genre, and some of the passages border on the absurd. Seriously, how is it that all male protagonists have huge penises? It also drives me crazy when an author -- especially a WOMAN -- gets the details of losing one's virginity completely wrong. There is no "barrier" halfway inside the vaginal canal. The hymen is on the OUTSIDE of the vagina. GAH. How hard is it to Google such a simple fact of human anatomy?
With the exception of the romance ridiculousness, I have yet to come across another paranormal series that has captured my attention like this.
Saturday, October 8, 2011
Barnes & Noble
Pearl is a sixteen-year-old vampire... fond of blood, allergic to sunlight, and mostly evil... until the night a sparkly unicorn stabs her through the heart with his horn. Oops.
Her family thinks she was attacked by a vampire hunter (because, obviously, unicorns don't exist), and they're shocked she survived. They're even more shocked when Pearl discovers she can now withstand the sun. But they quickly find a way to make use of her new talent. The Vampire King of New England has chosen Pearl's family to host his feast. If Pearl enrolls in high school, she can make lots of human friends and lure them to the King's feast -- as the entrees.
The only problem? Pearl's starting to feel the twinges of a conscience. How can she serve up her new friends—especially the cute guy who makes her fangs ache—to be slaughtered? Then again, she's definitely dead if she lets down her family. What's a sunlight-loving vamp to do?
This book had so much potential, but fell a bit flat. There were enough compelling moments to keep me going, though I did think of flouncing at several points. The story was predictable, but cute.
Teens will probably enjoy it. It wouldn't recommend it for adult readers of the YA genre, though.
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Barnes & Noble
In Crank, Ellen Hopkins chronicles the turbulent and often disturbing relationship between Kristina, a character based on her own daughter, and the "monster," the highly addictive drug crystal meth, or "crank." Kristina is introduced to the drug while visiting her largely absent and ne'er-do-well father.
While under the influence of the monster, Kristina discovers her sexy alter-ego, Bree: "there is no perfect daughter, / no gifted high school junior, / no Kristina Georgia Snow. / There is only Bree." Bree will do all the things good girl Kristina won't, including attracting the attention of dangerous boys who can provide her with a steady flow of crank.
Soon, her grades plummet, her relationships with family and friends deteriorate, and she needs more and more of the monster just to get through the day. Kristina hits her lowest point when she is raped by one of her drug dealers and becomes pregnant as a result. Her decision to keep the baby slows her drug use, but doesn't stop it, and the author leaves the reader with the distinct impression that Kristina/Bree may never be free from her addiction.
Wow. Talk about a powerful, haunting, moving book.
First of all, the writing is sublime. I've never read a novel in verse before, and the way the words flow across the pages helps to tell the story. Forget reading everything left-to-right. Top-to-bottom sentences add a whole new layer of complexity. I am in awe of Ellen Hopkins' writing style and can't wait to read more of her works.