Short Reviews - Hunger, Summer, and a Witch (9 - 11)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

“Thou art the Black Rider. Go thee out unto the world.”

Lisabeth Lewis has a black steed, a set of scales, and a new job: she’s been appointed Famine. How will an anorexic seventeen-year-old girl from the suburbs fare as one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse?

Traveling the world on her steed gives Lisa freedom from her troubles at home: her constant battle with hunger, and her struggle to hide it from the people who care about her. But being Famine forces her to go places where hunger is a painful part of everyday life, and to face the horrifying effects of her phenomenal power. Can Lisa find a way to harness that power — and the courage to battle her own inner demons?

Hunger by Jackie Morse Keller
Series: Horsemen of the Apocalypse #1
Publisher: Graphia
Publication Date: 18 October 2010
Genre: YA fantasy/supernatural
My Copy: library - paperback

The premise caught my attention awhile back because it sounded interesting. Unfortunately, the book didn't really live up to my expectations. I found it very difficult to connect with the main character. I grew increasingly frustrated with her attitude towards her real best friend, her boyfriend and her parents as well as her near worship of a bulimic girl. Don't get me wrong, I understand why she had the attitude, but it seemed like she should have shown more change in character earlier in the book since that sort of was the point of the story. Instead, everything happened in the end of the book, but by that point I was already too annoyed with Lisabeth. Then there's the ending which felt like it didn't fit with the rest of the story, or really even with the premise. I'm not sure yet if I'll read Rage.

Review breakdown:
Plot: 3 hearts
Pacing: 3 hearts
Characters: 2 hearts
Character relationships: 1 heart
Recommend: No

Anna is dreading another tourist-filled summer on Dune Island that follows the same routine: beach, ice cream, friends, repeat. That is, until she locks eyes with Will, the gorgeous and sweet guy visiting from New York. Soon, her summer is filled with flirtatious fun as Anna falls head over heels in love.

But with every perfect afternoon, sweet kiss, and walk on the beach, Anna can’t ignore that the days are quickly growing shorter, and Will has to leave at the end of August. Anna’s never felt anything like this before, but when forever isn’t even a possibility, one summer doesn’t feel worth the promise of her heart breaking...

Sixteenth Summer by Michelle Dalton
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: 3 May 2011
Genre: YA contemporary
My Copy: received for review from publisher - e-book ARC

I loved this story! The relationship that builds over the course of the summer is so realistic. The book is surrounded in the bittersweet feeling of summer love. I loved Anna. She's very down-to-earth, and I instantly connected with her. Will is so swoon worthy. Plus, I would love to be a part of Anna's family (not to mention live on a beach). Anna's friends remained strong in the story line as well rather than dropping out of it when she meets Will which is an often heard complaint with YA novels. There are so many realistic aspects to this book that make it a perfect contemporary YA story. I laughed and cheered and then found myself crying my eyes out at the ending. This is a must read for your summer lists! Warning: This book will give you a sweet tooth! I'd recommend having ice cream nearby.

Rating breakdown:
Plot: 5 hearts
Pacing: 5 hearts
Characters: 5 hearts
Character relationships: 5 hearts
Recommend: Absolutely!

Freak. That's what her classmates call seventeen-year-old Donna Underwood. When she was seven, a horrific fey attack killed her father and drove her mother mad. Donna's own nearly fatal injuries from the assault were fixed by magic—the iron tattoos branding her hands and arms. The child of alchemists, Donna feels cursed by the magical heritage that destroyed her parents and any chance she had for a normal life. The only thing that keeps her sane and grounded is her relationship with her best friend, Navin Sharma.

When the darkest outcasts of Faerie—the vicious wood elves—abduct Navin, Donna finally has to accept her role in the centuries old war between the humans and the fey. Assisted by Xan, a gorgeous half-fey dropout with secrets of his own, Donna races to save her friend—even if it means betraying everything her parents and the alchemist community fought to the death to protect.

The Iron Witch
by Karen Mahoney
Series: The Iron Witch #1
Publisher: Flux
Publication Date: 8 February 2011
Genre: YA fantasy/supernatural
My Copy: library - paperback

The book has a slow start, but definitely picks up the pace towards the end (which is why it only gets 4 hearts). Most of the action happens in the last few chapters. The slower parts are interesting though and gives the reader a chance to learn about the world created within the story. Donna is a dynamic character. In the beginning she seems afraid most of the time, but towards the end, she has much more confidence in herself. I was very intrigued by Xan. I want to know more about his history. I also want to know what the Wood Queen was talking about when she speaks with Donna. I will definitely be picking up the second book.

Rating breakdown:
Plot: 5 hearts
Pacing: 3 hearts
Characters: 5 hearts
Character relationships: 4 hearts
Recommend: Yes

*Links and images go to Goodreads*


mfay2 said...

I'm so excited to read Sixteenth Summer by Michelle Dalton, you have no idea. :)

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