pyrajane’s review #34: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

Whoops!  Wrote this one a while back and forgot to post it here.

I love love love Holly Black.  When I read Tithe for the first time, I found a kindred spirit.  I’ve read all of her YA and dug up a lot of her short stories in various anthologies.  I’ve been lucky to see her on a few different panels at different book events.  Even better, she lives a few towns over from me, so sometimes I’ll see her when I’m out.  And then I embarrass myself by trying to tell her how much I like her writing.  Seriously, it’s bad.  I once walked past her in a restaurant and didn’t want to interrupt her, so I planned on tossing out a quick “Thank you for writing” but instead I sang it.  I sang it.  “Thank yooooooooo… for wriiiiiiiiitinggggggg…..”  Think of the scene from Elf where they think Buddy is a sing-o-gram except make it horrific.  I don’t know what happened in my brain.  I then followed up with “I donnnnnn’t knowwwwww… why I am sinnnnnnngingggggg….”  She laughed and thanked me.  I went to the bathroom and realized I was going to have to walk by her table again on the way back to mine.  I’m in my thirties and I had just awkwardly and painfully serenaded a favorite author.  I think I managed to save it on the way back with a casual “I really love your books” as I passed by.  Smooth.

Coldtowns are where the vampires live.  And those who might become vampires.Coldtown And those who are obsessed and enthralled with vampires and want to serve them in any way.  It’s also where people are sent who are infected and if you can prove you’ve made it through your quarantine without turning, you can leave.  But no one ever seems to leave.

When you’re bit by a vampire, you get cold.  And hungry.  If you go Cold and then drink human blood, you’re done.  You get sicker, then you die, and then you come back to life, or whatever the category is for vampires.  The guideline for quarantine is eight-eight days.  If you can make it that long without taking human blood, you’ll be OK.  The problem is that when you’re craving blood, you will do anything to get it, including trying to kill your own daughter.

Read more about seventeen year old Tana, her bitten ex-boyfriend and a vampire that she’s either helping, or is waiting to kill her.

Look, I know that Twilight has done a lot of damage, but please don’t judge this book by those.  It’s really good and it’s not a “Ooooo, I’m going to write bad vampire YA to cash in!” book.  Black is an incredibly talented writer and had this been published before all the Twilight crap, it would be getting the love and attention it deserves.

And hey!  If you like Twilight, then check out a different tale of what happens when a teenage girl gets involved with a vampire.

Caitlin’s #CBR5 #62: Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

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This is a really good book, plus one of the few that aren’t part of a series. It’s a world where water is running out. Lynn and her mother live on a farm and protect their little pond. There’s lots of action and drama. I loved how Lynn’s character changes and grows from her isolated life with her mother to her less isolated life after she ends up on her own.

Seriously, this was a great book. You can read my full review here.

Caitlin’s #CBR5 #61: Bubble World by Carol Snow

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This is an interesting book about a girl who lives on an island utopia…except it’s not what it seems. It ends up being some sort of junior matrix situation, where teenagers who have difficulty in the real world are hooked up to computers and live virtual lives. I wasn’t expecting that at all when I started the book, and it ended up being much more interesting than I thought it would be.

You can read my full review here.

Caitlin’s #CBR5 #60: OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu

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This was a really different YA novel, told from the point of view of a young lady afflicted with obsessive compulsive disorder. She joins a support group for OCD and starts a relationship with a boy from the group.

The book is told entirely from the girl’s point of view. Some parts are really cringe-inducing, more so than your normal YA drama. It’s a little heavier than some books, but I really enjoyed the story and characters, and the glimpse of a different point of view.

You can read my full review here.

Caitlin’s #CBR5 #58: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke

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I really liked this book. It’s creepy and moody. It will seem like nothing is going on, then all of a sudden ALL OF THE STUFF HAPPENS.
It’s about a girl in a small southern town who meets a mysterious stranger with a secret. A dangerous secret, of course. It’s all very Twilight-y, but I liked it anyways.
You can read my review here.

Sophia’s #CBR5 Review #70: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being a WallflowerThis will be my last book and book review for 2013. I definitely don’t have time to read and review another one, and I’m already looking forward to Cannonball Read 6 and the books I’ll be reading next year.

“I just wish that God or my parents or Sam or my sister or someone would just tell me what’s wrong with me. Just tell me how to be different in a way that makes sense. To make this all go away. And disappear. I know that’s wrong because it’s my responsibility, and I know that things get worse before they get better because that’s what my psychiatrist says, but this is a worse that feels too big.” (139)

 The Perks of Being a Wallflower (1999) by Stephen Chbosky was a book I would not have read if it weren’t for my new book club. I saw the movie, which was all right, but I was distracted by Hermione and I didn’t love it. I also rarely read a book after having seen the movie. The visuals from the movie are too strong and interfere with my imagination. But it’s a short book, so I figured I could suck it up for my friends. And I liked it! Much more than the movie. Charlie’s insight and inner thoughts came across much more clearly for me in writing than on the screen. Not that the movie did a bad job, it just has its limits. I still wish I’d read the book before seeing the movie, but I’m glad I read it.

Continued…

Malin’s #CBR5 Review #146: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Disclaimer! Disney Hyperion granted me an ARC of this through NetGalley in return for a fair review.

Much as I love the colours and the lush quality of the cover for this book (my husband disagrees with me, he thinks it’s dreadful), it doesn’t actually give a very realistic portrayal of what the book is about. It’s not really floating about in space in a ball gown (but the gown does exist, and Lilac does spend a substantial amount of the story wearing it), or even Titanic in space, as I saw it described elsewhere (although there are obvious nods to the film). So if you’re hoping for that, you may want to adjust your expectations before going in.

Boy meets girl on board the most expensive intergalactic cruise liner in the known universe. Boy and girl have a connection. The next time boy and girl meet, girl viciously rejects boy in front of her friends. Boy is deeply hurt, but this doesn’t stop him from helping her to an escape pod when something goes horribly wrong and the ship they’re on is wrenched out of hyperspace and needs to be evacuated. Boy and girl crash escape pod on nearby planet, and have to make their way across the deserted and sometimes dangerous planet with hardly any supplies, hoping to be rescued.

Our boy is Tarver Mendenson, an 18-year-old officer heavily decorated in the recent war and given special privileges aboard the Icarus because he’s become a poster boy for the army. He’s from a humble background, and not really comfortable in the opulent surroundings and among the wealthy passengers in the first class areas. Our girl is Lilac LaRoux, daughter of the richest man in the universe. Her father owns the Icarus (as well as much of the known universe), and Lilac has learned the hard way that young men who show any kind of interest in her have a nasty way of disappearing. She finds it charming and amazing that Tarver doesn’t know who she is when they first meet, but has to dissuade him from ever talking to her again, lest he find himself suddenly deployed to the front line of another war zone before he knows what hit him. She can’t tell him this, however, and by the time their escape pod crashes, he thinks she’s a spoiled and callous space princess (while mysteriously adept at mechanics) and just wants to be rid of her as quickly as possible.

More on my blog.