Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Nothing Bad is Going to Happen by Kathleen Hale

Series: No One Else Can Have You (bk. 2)

Genera(s): Realistic Fiction/Mystery

Subjects: humor, comedy, murder, mystery, small towns, winter

Setting: Friendship, Wisconsin (which is north of the Wisconsin Dells) before Halloween

POV/Tense: 1st person present tense. Kippy’s POV.

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 260 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

List Price: $17.99

Publisher: HarperTeen

Summary/ product description: “Geeze Louise, for such a small town, there sure are a lot of murders in Friendship, Wisconsin.

After helping to catch the man who murdered her best friend, Kippy Bushman was looking forward to life returning to normal. Well, at least as normal as it could get in a town like hers. But then the unthinkable happens: Kippy finds her boyfriend, Davey, in his house, barely breathing and surrounded by pills and empty beer bottles.

The sheriff is quick to rule the incident an attempted suicide, but Kippy refuses to believe it. She and Davey are completely in love; there’s no way he’d ever hurt himself. Right?

Kippy swears she saw someone else at Davey’s house that night and is convinced that person tried to murder him. Without any real evidence, though, no one—not even Kippy’s own father—believes her. So she has no choice but to team up with her former nemesis, Bible-thumping Libby, to try to catch this new killer. But in a town where everyone has their own secrets and a next-door neighbor could be a serial killer, who’s left to trust?”

My Review: Nothing Bad is Going to Happen is the hilarious sequel to No One Else Can Have You. I don’t think there will be a 3rd book, but ya never know. Anyways, despite what other reviewers think, this book was pretty awesome. Maybe they were just being jerks, don’tcha know?

Kippy Bushman was almost murdered and has a leg cast to prove it. She caught her best friend’s killer, but the Sheriff took the credit for it, and made her look like a crazy person. The killer was a friend named Ralph who’s totally a sociopath and now locked up in Green Bay Correctional Facility. He keeps sending her creepy letters and calling her.

When Kippy find her boyfriend passed out on the night they planned to have sex, she calls 911. She think she saw a shadow figure and that no way could Davey commit suicide, but they rule it as attempted suicide because the bottles of alcohol and empty pill bottle. Kippy enlists Libby, a girl who used to be mean to her, but who’s now her only ally, to help her find evidence of Davey’s attempted murder. Filled with mystery, crazy twists and hilarious laughs, it’s the perfect sequel.

This book series is set in (Wisconsin) the hat of the state I live in (Illinois), I place I love dearly and the state that I visited the most. I’ve seen more of Wisconsin than Illinois. And I’m familiar with Wisconsinisms and their love of the Packers and cheese and all that. Friendship, Wisconsin is a real town near Baraboo, which I camped at Devil’s Lake State Park last year. The real Friendship, of course, is nothing like the one in the books.

The humor in this book is my favorite part. Sometimes it’s very dirty and full of swearing and things that make me cringe just thinking of because it sound erotic, but I cracked up reading this so many times that I sure that if I had read this in public, people would be staring at me. I think the characters came along better in this sequel. Kippy seems less strange and more smart than she did in the first book. Libby’s nice to her now and really helpful. Rose, the anger management counselor, is now dating Kippy’s dad Dom. Rosa is so hilarious. She’s Polish and speaks in broken English and calls Kippy by the most hilarious pet names, like Mud Dumpling, and says things like “Soup is on.” I’m like 20% Polish myself and I find her hilarious.

I recommend this series to people who love watching comedies, or reading books by Heather Keeble or Gretchen McNeil.

Cover Art Review: I love the donuts! They’re so cute….until you read the book and realize why they’re on the cover.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Glimmer by Phoebe Kitanidis


Genera(s): Paranormal Romance/Mystery

Subjects: supernatural, ghosts, small towns, memory loss, magic

Setting: Summer Falls, Colorado

POV/Tense: 1st person POV, present tense, rotating between Elyse and Marshall

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 347 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

List Price: $17.99

Publisher: HarperCollins: Balzer and Bray

Summary/ product description: “When Marshall King and Elyse Alton suddenly wake up tangled in each other's arms with zero memory of how they got there or even who they are, it's the start of a long journey through their separate pasts and shared future.

Terrified by their amnesia, Marshall and Elyse make a pact to work together to find the answers that could restore their missing memories. As they piece together clues about their lives, they discover that they're in the idyllic mountain resort town of Summer Falls. Everyone seems happy there, but as Marshall and Elyse quickly learn, darkness lurks beneath the town's perfect facade. Not only is the town haunted by sinister ghosts, but none of its living inhabitants retain bad memories of anything—not the death of Marshall's mom, not the hidden violence in Elyse's family, not even the day-to-day anguish of being a high schooler.

Lonely in this world of happy zombies, Marshall and Elyse fall into an intense relationship founded on their mutual quest for truth. But the secrets they're trying to uncover could be the death of this budding love affair—and of everyone, and everything, they love in Summer Falls.”

My Review:  I’ve had Glimmer sitting on my shelf waiting to be read for year. It came out in 2013. I bought it because I liked the cover and I love a good mystery with paranormal elements. And nothing says paranormal mystery like amnesia, a strange small town and ghosts.

Glimmer was different from how I expected it. It wasn’t scary or dystopian or full of odd twists. It kept me guessing, and sometimes I was able to predict things correctly, but I liked it when I was surprised. I also really enjoyed the setting. I visited Colorado in 2003 on a family vacation and it was beautiful.

Summer falls is this magical made-up Colorado town in which it’s always balmy summer weather and tourist feel like they’re on a drug when they are there. It sounds great, except anyone who experiences anything negative, like a fight or sadness, suddenly passes out in a “heat nap” caused by ghosts. Only Elyse can see the ghosts are causing it.

I also enjoy stories about memory loss. It’s always interesting to see character deal with the present without knowing their pasts. Elyse and Marshall don’t even know their names when the wake up, but since their names are already in the book’s description, it’s not read a spoiler. They wake up in bed with each other, naked. They don’t know how they got there. Elyse think’s she was kidnapped, that Marshall drugged her. It’s a real mess and they find clothes and leave out the window. And soon after Elyse sees a ghost.

I really did enjoy the characters. They didn’t like it when they found out about their pasts. Things didn’t fit to them. But their personalities were pretty interesting. Elyse was stubborn and strong willed, but also honest. She didn’t like how everyone noticed her. She used to be popular apparently. Marshall had a strong ego, but everyone seemed to treat him like he was invisible. Everyone else in Summer Falls suffered from selective memory loss, and acted like happy zombies or pod people.

I recommend this book to those who enjoyed the Shadowlands series by Kate Brian, Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton, or books with ghosts or people with memory loss.

Cover Art Review: Pretty colors and I like the effect on the type, but I realize now that this it generic and kind of boring for a cover actually.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Relentless by Tera Lynn Childs and Tracy Deebs

Series: The Hero Agenda Duology (bk. 2)

Genera(s): Sci-fi/Romance

Subjects: superheroes, supervillians, abilities, superpowers, conspiracies

Setting: Boulder, Colorado

POV/Tense: 1st person POV, present tense: Kenna Swift

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 279 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

List Price: $17.99

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Summary/ product description: “Revenge is easy, but justice is worth fighting for…

Kenna is tired of being lied to—and hunted by the very allies she once trusted. Unearthing the dark secrets of the superhero world has not only endangered her life, now her boyfriend faces execution for crimes he didn’t commit and her mother is being held captive in a secret governmental prison.

Kenna is determined to stand up for what’s right and save those she loves from unspeakable fates. It’s time for the betrayal to end. It’s time for the real criminals to face justice.

But the truth is even more terrifying than Kenna could imagine. A conspiracy threatens the fate of heroes, villains, and all of humanity. If Kenna’s going to survive, she must draw on her deepest strength: her resilience. Because when Kenna’s pushed to the limit, she doesn’t break down. She fights back.”

My Review:  Relentless is the sequel to Powerless and (probably) the finale to the Hero’s Agenda duology. If you haven’t read Powerless, I recommend it to those who enjoyed  Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson, V is For Villain by Peter Moore, Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Illusive by Emily Llyod-Jones, Blackout by Robison Wells, Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, Red Queen by Victoria Avyard, The Young Elite by Marie Lu, or anything superhero-related. Also fans of Tera Lynn Childs’s Sweet Venom series.

Kenna in the first book had discovered that she had a power. She can control electromagnetic energy, knocking out electronics with EMPs. Also, she’s a villain and since the serum wore off, her villain mark is visible and she can use her ability. In this world, a type of virus with 2 strains, one for heroes and one for villain, gives people powers and also leaves a mark behind the ear that differentiates heroes and villains. To me it seems like there is no difference between the heroes and villain other that the mark, and it’s more prejudice than anything.

Kenna’s villain boyfriend Draven is being put on trial to be executed. Kenna and her team of “hillains” (heroes and villains working together) are there to rescue him. Kenna has disguised herself at a media reporter and her team is waiting in the wing ready to go on her mark. Everything goes haywire, and though they rescue Draven, someone else isn’t so lucky and Kenna suffers a loss so hard, that she’s not sure how she can move on. She set out for revenge, ready to defeat Rex Malone, the hero with malicious intentions, with everything she’s got. This is an action packed sequel that reads like an actual super hero movie or TV shows. It’s set in Colorado, which is a nice change of pace from all the NYC and Cali set superhero stories. And I’ve been to the Denver area in Colorado before, so that’s a plus.

I really did enjoy this series. It was very short, though. The characters are very unqiue from one another. I did have difficultly remembering the character at first since it’s been a year and Powerless was a pretty fast and short book too. I forgot who’s who and what their power or relation is. I tried keeping track, though.

Character Recap: Kenna Swift (villain) is the main character, and her boyfriend Draven Cole (villain) has memory and bio manipulation ability, and he has blue eyes dark hair. Draven is Rex Malone’s illegitimate son and cousin of Dante (villain) and Deacon Cole (villain), who are twins with wind and water manipulation powers. Nitro (villain) is British and can throw fireballs of various colors that identify what they do. Nitro’s brother is Quake (villain), who can make small earthquakes. Nitro also has a crush of Riley Malone (hero), Rex’s legitimate son who can fly. Riley’s sister is Rebel aka Rachel Malone (hero), and she has telekinetic powers. She’s also Kenna’s best friend. Rex Malone (hero), their father, is an evil SOB with super hearing and wants to control and torture villains. His wife has ice powers. Jeremy Abernathy (hero) is part of the Hillains team, and he has technopathic abilities. He’s also Kenna’s ex-boyfriend and he’s a nerd. V aka Victoria (villain) is Draven’s bodyguard hired by his uncle Anton Cole. Also, Kenna’s mom is a scientist that developed a serum to protect a person from the effects super powers. Kenna’s dad was a superhero.

Cover Art Review: Not that great of cover. I’m not sure I understand what the symbol is for. Does it represent the villains? It’s just a blah cover. The complementary color scheme is an interesting choice though.