Maddie's Books

Hello there. I like to read. And I'll add more later, haha.

hello!

giving this site a go (: i'm excited. i think.

now just to bring all my stuff from GR over.

Ali's Pretty Little Lies - Sara Shepard This was a really good book. Full review to come later. I noticed a couple things that didn't match up with the series, but that might just be my bad memory from reading the first couple books and/or maybe Shepard really intended for the other girls' interpretations to be wrong. Who knows. But, it was interesting to get into Ali's head and learn the method behind her madness, so to speak. There's a big twist at the end and I'm still not entirely sure WHAT I think of it, but it's driving me crazy that Shepard left it open and didn't fill you in on the details, haha. Overall, it's a really good book. If you've followed the books up until now, you definitely need to read it. It would be really good to read in between books 8 and 9 too, but the twist at the end also makes you look at the things going on in the most recent books from a different view. That's all I'm gonna say. Go read it.
Terrorscape (Horrorscape, #3) - Nenia Campbell “Once upon a time, there was a naïve and innocent girl who thought she could tame the beast and live happily ever after. But the beast did not want to be tamed, for he was a beast and beasts care not for such things, and the girl died along with her dreams.

From childhood's grave sprang a young woman, jaded before her years, who knew that beasts could wear the skins of men, and that evil could exist in sunlight, as well as darkness."


^ That's one of my favorite quotes from Terrorscape and I believe that it describes the entirety of the series perfectly- especially the final installment. I love this series so much and I was absolutely thrilled (and terrified) when the last one came out yesterday. As I predicted, this book is DARK. Really dark. Horrorscape was worse than Fearscape, content and maturity wise, and Terrorscape was even a step up from that. It's definitely not something you should go into expecting a lighthearted, happy ending. It's gritty, frightening, and disturbing (on a few different levels)- yet also amazing. I don't know how Nenia got it to work so well, but I loved it. So now I'll try to give an accurate review of my opinions on the book. I'm going to attempt to keep this as spoiler-free as possible (especially since the book hasn't even been out for 48 hours yet), so I'm sure there will be a LOT of spoiler tags here. Don't click on them if you don't want any major plot twists spoiled for you. Maybe I'll add a couple gifs, too ;D

So when I found out that Terrorscape was not only coming out this year, but earlier than the expected publication date I was definitely like:
And the book didn't let me down, in any aspect. I feel like it provided good closure to the series (as much as I hate hate HATE to see it end) and the relationship between Val and Gavin escalated to the point that I was expecting it to get to all along (even a little beyond what I predicted, to be honest). Terrorscape was very different than the other two novels proceeding it, though. From the setting to the characters to the plot and everything. It obviously still contained the main elements from before, but there were noticeable differences. I liked most of these new aspects and don't have many complaints.

As a little bit of a summary, this installment takes place a year after the events in Horrorscape. Val has left town, changed her identity and appearance, and is beginning a new life in college when the novel opens. Instead of Valerian Kimble, she now goes by Valerie Klein- though I'm not quite sure why she thought that this new name would make her any more difficult for Gavin to find, but you know. She's moved a state away to a place where no one knows her past and that makes it a little easier for her to begin new friendships- though, she's still extremely paranoid and her anxiety often gets the better of her. Two of the more important new characters are her friends at college- her roommate, Mary, and a romantic interest named Jade. Just when she starts getting comfortable in this new home, guess who decides to show up? Everyone's favorite sociopath/serial killer. And you can imagine how it goes from there.

There were definitely some twists this time around that I didn't expect. First, Gavin has been pretty busy during this year lapse in the timeline and I was even kind of surprised about the whole redhead murders thing. I wouldn't have put it past him, but I didn't expect him to actually do something like that with Val still alive.. He thought he left Val dead at the end of Horrorscape and when he finds out that this actually isn't the case- man, he gets angry. We do get a look at his family (or part of it) for the first time and I actually wish there was more of a back story on them. They're so messed up that I would have loved to read more about the Mecozzi's and what made them that way. All of them seem to be similar to Gavin in one form or another- or at least relatively accepting of him. It's kind of fascinating, haha. But, besides that, Gavin has also schemed up an interesting way to find Val again. There were two deaths in the entire trilogy that actually upset me. One of them was Blake's. C'mon, Gavin. Was that really necessary? Blake never really did anything to you.


But then when Lisa died I was just like


Val was actually, in my opinion, fairly stupid in this book. She tried to take precautionary measures to hide from Gavin, but she didn't do them very well. I mean, when she finally saw him again for the first time, she made it pretty obvious who she was. It was almost as if she wanted to get caught. Or maybe she did. Either way, I think for the first time so far, I actually felt more than just a pang of sympathy for her. Gavin was ruthless. If you thought he was bad in the first two books, multiply it by five, and you'll find him here. He's just evil (which I still find awesome, because of his lack of ANY redeeming qualities at all, which makes him super interesting to me). Some part of Val enjoyed being with Gavin, but I know the part that didn't was miserable. And it made the ending a little more justified, after seeing her go through everything in this book. I mean, do we need to even talk about the sex?

but seriously i did feel bad for her.


The minor characters this time around were interesting. I liked Mary a lot. She seemed like a decent friend for Val, most of the time. At least better than Lisa. Although, then you have Jade, who I didn't feel much emotion for at all. I guess I already knew that by this point, Val was so tied to Gavin that there was really no use growing attached to a different love interest. Really, Val. Did you not know GM was gonna kill him? Though, he seemed very sweet, and it was probably good for Valerie to meet a guy that's NOT a psychopath or a douchebag for once. Then finally you have Vance. I had mixed feelings about him. On one hand, he's a really good example of how your actions can come back and haunt you later. I thought he provided a nice new subplot to the story. But at the same time, I thought it kind of random at first, until I figured it all out at the end. It was interesting to how much of an extent Gavin would go to in order to keep possession over Val and ensure that she remained safe.

And then finally, you have the end. AOMG:LSKG:LAKJKAL:FLJ

I think I may be one of the only people that wasn't completely satisfied with the ending. I knew it was coming, but part of me was hoping that Val died along with Gavin. I don't know what that says about me, but xD

I always knew that Gavin had to die, because the series reminded me a little of the prophecy in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: "For neither can live while the other survives." Besides, in Horrorscape Gavin said that Val would always be his as long as they both lived, so I knew one of them couldn't make it through. But still, when his death came I was staring at the screen like

ESPECIALLY AFTER THAT WHOLE THING WITH VAL POTENTIALLY CARRYING HIS CHILD.
I'm assuming that if Val WAS pregnant, the child died when Gavin stabbed her stomach, but I was still hoping he'd take her to the grave with him.
. I can still appreciate the ending though and it didn't take away from how awesome the book was otherwise.

All in all, Terrorscape was a great conclusion to a wonderful trilogy. You definitely have to read the first two books before embarking on this one, but it's so worth it in the end. It's a must read for anyone that enjoyed Fearscape or Horrorscape, as long as you can handle the content in this one. As always with these books, Terrorscape was loaded with creepy quotes from Gavin and still held a suspenseful tone throughout the whole book (the college setting was cool and brought new elements to the suspense, as well). It exceeded my expectations and I'm not really sure what else COULD have happened in this trilogy, that wasn't already included. I'm sad to see it end, but props to Nenia for making such an awesome set of books.


I feel lucky to have found them (:
Saving June - Hannah Harrington Some books just do it for you and there's no specific reason why. Saving June was like that for me. This book probably only deserves four stars, as there were some problems I could find with it, but despite all of that I still really enjoyed it and wouldn't be happy with myself if I gave it less than five. The plot was good, the characters were all fairly likable, and there were a lot of amazing quotes. A lot.

I suppose this is another book I could have been biased towards before reading. I love it when an author brings music or some other form of real art (not simply made up for the sake of the story) into their books. So, Jake's love of music was awesome. Also, I'm a sucker when it comes to road trip stories. I don't know why, but I find them interesting. Probably because settings can get boring and road trips tend to keep the plot going at a steady pace. So, those two things alone made me enjoy the book. Like I said, the characters were enjoyable too. I loved Laney and Jake grew on me as I read. Harper and I had our off and on moments, but I can probably only count on one or two hands the number of protagonists that I've actually completely liked when reading a novel. The plot itself was also good. I've read plenty of books about the aftermath of suicide, but this was one of my favorites. Harrington did a good job of adding details about June without making it go so overboard that I was sick of hearing about her. All in all, it flowed well and stayed decently believable. And there were so many great quotes. That's a huge plus for me.

As for cons, there were some, but they didn't necessarily take away from the book in my opinion. I never fully grasped Harper's personality, because it seemed to change from time to time. The book started off a bit slow, too. Some parts of the first half seemed cliched to me- the deadbeat mother and crazy aunt, the old music (which, don't get me wrong, I loved) mixed with attending riots and ranting about the atrocity of the world, etc. But, that was probably just my picky side coming out. And then you have the technicality that it would probably be hard for two underage girls to make it through a road trip with a random boy they just met and hardly any consequences. Though, the author did as good of a job as she could at making it seem fairly possible. These were really the only big problems I could think of and they still didn't bother me very much.

In the end, I just really enjoyed this book. It was raw and held great emotion. I liked the romance and the depiction of teenage life- it was realistic and not overly OR under exaggerated. I liked that it wasn't censored just because it was a YA novel. The settings were good, too. Again, the author was very good at balancing Saving June. She never went into too much detail, but still described enough that I knew what was going on. I loved the hotels and the drives and the few minor characters we met. My favorite thing of all was still the quotes, though. There were a lot that completely summed up my emotions and hit me right in the gut. The small twist in the end kind of annoyed me, but I got over it. Some people might like it a lot. Either way, it was a wonderful book and I would recommend it to anyone- it's a roller coaster that left me pleasantly surprised and wishing there was more.
Trafficked - Kim Purcell Trafficked was an interesting book. I really wanted to love it, but unfortunately it came up short for me. I do praise the author for writing a modern-day YA novel about human trafficking, though- it's a real problem that occurs all over the world, but I don't think everyone knows a lot about it. Especially not teenagers who, arguably, should be one of the groups MOST informed. It's really sad how situations like the one presented in this novel can go unnoticed and I wish there were more YA books about it, to at least raise awareness. If nothing else, I think Trafficked is a good educational tool. Before reading it, I did know some information about human trafficking. But, the plot still brought in different factors that I never realized could play into it. It also shed some light on the idea of modern-day slavery, rather than just the forced prostitution side, which is what I tend to hear about more often. It did a good job of showing the various different ways someone can be affected by trafficking.

But honestly, I still cannot say that I enjoyed the book. It was really slow paced and, despite being nearly 400 pages long, not much even happened. Hannah arrived at the house, cleaned, was threatened, and... cleaned some more. The ending was exciting, but nothing happened until the last 100 pages. Actually, that was when she finally started talking to the guy. There wasn't much action until the last 40 pages or so. And then it just ended. I guess what irritated me the most was that the summary on the inside jacket was incredibly misleading. I believed the book would be a lot more gritty, violent, and overall exciting. The subject matter is so dark and awful that I was hoping for a book that could represent that well- or at least, as realistically as it could in the young adult genre. The things that happened to Hannah WERE bad, but not to the extent that I was expecting. Also, the summary on GoodReads doesn't seem to do this, but the physical book's description really lead the reader to believe that Hannah would be forced into prostitution. I don't mind that it never happened, but it just left me confused, when Hannah was still at the house 2/3 of the way in. I kept assuming that the plot would pick up once Hannah was taken from the Platonovs. But that never happened, so it only made the book drag out longer for me.

I think the lack of action was supposed to be compensated for by the mystery subplot that weaved its way into the story. Essentially, while Hannah is working with this new family, she finds out that they're more connected to her deceased parents than she realized. I actually figured out the mystery pretty early and even if I hadn't, it still would not have interested me. This is because we never learned about Hannah's family much to begin with, so I didn't care at all about how these strangers knew them or what secrets they were keeping from Hannah. All of the plot twists were predictable for me, actually. Things would be revealed to Hannah and the author made it seem like they were such a surprise, when I had guessed them seventy-five pages beforehand. It just bored me even more.

Don't get me wrong, there were a few good things in Trafficked. I really liked the minor characters- Maggie, Collin, etc. Lillian was crazy and while I hated her, she played a good villain to bring at least an ounce of excitement to the story. I did think that the whole subplot with the creepy husband and Hannah was kind of random, but whatever. It sort of made sense, to show how victims can be preyed upon by people that appear to be friendly, but I still thought it was out of place. And speaking of Hannah, I never liked her character, either. I felt sympathetic towards her, but I thought she was far too naive. She wasn't stupid, so she should have caught on to some of the cruelties earlier. And then she never did much to help herself- I saw a few opportunities she could have taken to get out, but she didn't. Instead, she found the worst moments possible to stand up for herself and try to fight back, which really only made things worse. It frustrated me.

In the end, Trafficked wasn't horrible. It just didn't do it for me, so I figured I'd write a review to contrast with a lot of the positive opinions on here. I think people that are interested in the subject matter might like it and it could be a good book to give a young teenager- it's definitely not too explicit. There are a couple iffy scenes, but nothing I don't think an 8th grader couldn't handle. I'd just make sure that if you do read it, you know what you're getting into beforehand. It's slow and predictable, but it still has a couple good moments. The writing itself was good. I just wish the novel had a stronger impact, to go with it's strong subject. So, read it if you want. It's a lighter start into a deep subject, which might appeal to some. I'd just advise to borrow it from a library. And don't get your hopes up too high.
The Missing Girl - Norma Fox Mazer I was really excited to read the Missing Girl. I had been trying to get a copy for a few months and was thrilled to find it on Amazon for three dollars. I wanted so badly to love it, but I honestly didn't. I've read a couple other books centered around the theme of abduction that were so much better than this- Living Dead Girl, especially. The Missing Girl was alright, but it never got to the "thriller" part. I actually played with the idea of giving it two stars, but brought it up to three, because I did think that the narration of the main character, Autumn, was pretty good. There were a lot of other issues, though.

On the bright side, this novel is easy to page through. I read it all in one sitting. I guess it kept my interest, but I kept waiting for it to get better. Over half of the story is just an introduction to the characters. The point where Autumn gets abducted is quick and it all feels rushed after that. I definitely feel like I spent more time reading what happened before the main event than during or after. Another complaint that I have with the Missing Girl is that there are too many characters for such a short story. I understand that Mazer wanted to show what happened to this large family with the disappearance of a child, but she didn't need to give you so many details about them. You learned too much about Beauty and not enough about Autumn. It would have been more interesting if there was more about the kidnapper, as well. A few reviewers liked the chapters with his narration, but I honestly found it predictable and your typical pervert description. Which brings me to one of my least favorite things about this novel:

The whole time, I felt as if Mazer was walking on ice, trying to avoid any detail of what happened WHILE Autumn was held captive. Not that I was looking for any graphic descriptions, but it ALL centered around what happened before, the family's thoughts during, and after. You didn't read much about Autumn being at Nelson's house. In fact, there were hardly even any clues given to the reader that would tell us the man was being abusive. Autumn was afraid of his chair, but the only scenes with them both in the room were quick and mainly consisted of him giving her food. And then she comes home and still doesn't talk about it. I'm just not sure what the point was... It's clear that Mazer was trying to write a heartbreaking story, but she should have done it right: written to the audience age. I would be totally fine with giving this book to a sixth grader. A lot of Young Adult readers are 14+, it wasn't as if she should have been avoiding any difficult issues. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I didn't really learn anything from this book- it was totally predictable and the scenes were written very poorly.

I know I already touched on this a little earlier, but I also had issues with which characters she focused on. I'm not sure why the Missing Girl was written in Beauty's point of view at times. She was one of the most flat, boring characters I've ever read about. Mim and Stevie seemed at least a little more interesting- I would have much rather read from one of their perspectives. As for Fancy, her chapters had the potential to be great (it's amazing some of the things special needs kids can pick up on that normal people can't), but they really just ended up being pointless and random. The only voices that pertained to the plot were the man's (whose pov pops up less and less the further you get) and Autumn's.

The Missing Girl should have been given a different name- Abduction in Mallory or Dysfunctional Family, maybe. Because, Autumn wasn't missing very long. Instead, the book just dragged on and on about her family. There are still more minor complaints that I have about this book (the ending, in particular), but I see no point in going on about them. While it had potential, this story just didn't carry out well. I wouldn't recommend it to many people, unless you can get it for free/extremely cheap somewhere and think that despite all of these issues, you still want to read it. Check out some different kidnapping books instead, if you're looking for that subject material.
Follow Your Heart: Your Best Friend's Boyfriend - J.E. Bright A fun little choose your own destiny book.
I kind of had a couple of problems with it, but you can never really take these sorts of books seriously. I didn't think it portrayed high school students very well and thought it was kind of weird how drastically the endings varied from one another. Because of this, I couldn't get a good feel for Mike's character. In one ending, he was nice. In the next, he was a creep. It really seemed like he was eight characters, rather than one.

Either way, still a relaxed, easy read. I got it for a quarter at my library, so nothing lost. I'd recommend it for middle schoolers, but not really many others... unless you can get it cheap and think it sounds good.
13 Little Blue Envelopes - Maureen Johnson Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes was an interesting story, to say the least. It was the first novel by Maureen Johnson that I've read and is completely out of my normal genre realm. I usually read mysteries, thrillers, and a lot of fantasy and horror. But, I found this book on clearance at a store and picked it up for a light read. It was good, but at the same time, there were a lot of problems with the story.

As a lot of reviewers said, it didn't make any sense that a seventeen year old's parents would be fine with her going across the world with no means of communication, a limited supply of money, and instructions from her irresponsible, dead aunt. I can see how the parents HAD to agree with this for the sake of the story, but I don't understand why Johnson just couldn't have made Ginny eighteen or nineteen? It would make loads more sense if the main character was just in college.

Aside from the obvious complaint though, there were also a lot more issues with Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes. The characters were very underdeveloped. The only one that we seemed to get a clear picture of was Aunt Peg, and she's not even alive in the story. The rest- Ginny, Keith, Richard, etc.- we get no description of besides hair color. None of their personalities change as the story goes on, either. They all just remain boring the whole time, especially Ginny. For someone going on an adventure through Europe, she complained a lot. Instead of being excited for her experiences, she had more anger about everything that was going wrong- when she didn't even have to DO anything, her aunt provided it all. Her relationship with Keith was weird, too. I didn't see a huge connection. They only met a couple of times, but Ginny randomly decided she was in love with him? If anything, I would think Keith would find her creepy- randomly giving him money, showing up at his house, finding his email address online, etc.

A couple minor things irked me, as well. It was unrealistic for Ginny to make it through the story so safely, when she trusted everyone she met. She was lucky that the worst thing to happen to her was a stolen bag. Also, all of the events in the novel seemed really sporadic and didn't have much of an impact on the plot. You were introduced to characters that would exist for a couple pages and then leave forever (Olivia, David, and Carrie and her friends) and she went to random locations that didn't give her any progress. I understand that the second one was due to instructions from her aunt, but I still think that there should have been more of a point to it. After Rome, all of the tasks seemed to get really meaningless. Another thing I noticed was that there was sometimes too much description for my liking. I understand that the book was centered around travelling, so a certain amount of setting needed to be discussed, but I did find myself getting bored with reading on and on about the scenery every now and then.

Finally, one of my biggest issues with the book was the end. If you don't want any spoilers, please just skip this paragraph and go onto the next. Ginny losing the last letter was a huge letdown. To me, it was like one of those books where a character goes through a wild adventure and then wakes up to it being a mere dream. The story lead up to this final letter (for goodness' sake, the twelfth letter didn't even have any instructions- it just warned that the last one was a huge challenge), only for it to be swept away at the last second. I can see that Johnson made a sequel, but was it even intended at the time? It seemed like the author wasn't sure how to make this last letter, so instead decided to simply not include it.

All in all, Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes was a fairly good read, but by far not the best. I probably would have given it 3.5 stars if I could, but rounded it down to three, due to the amount of errors that I noticed after reading it. On the pro side, the plot was refreshing, the writing was good, there were some comical moments, and the various settings made the story even more interesting. I read most of the story in one day and definitely plan on picking up the sequel. It's driving me nuts that I don't know what the last letter said, haha. I would recommend this novel to those interested that are looking for a fun, different read. Just don't expect something amazing.
Doctor Sleep (The Shining, #2) - Stephen King,  Will Patton I'm super excited for this book to come out. The Shining was amazing and it'll be interesting to see how Danny turns out. But am I the only one who will be disappointed if the Overlook isn't revisited in this book? Considering the ending of the Shining, I feel like it wouldn't be very hard to bring Danny back to it.
Ruthless - Sara Shepard When I first started reading the Pretty Little Liars books, I never imagined that I would grow to love them as much as I do now. They're by no means perfect or even of an awesome quality. But, they're a fun, light read that's a great distraction from my normal serious reading and all of the analyzing I do for school. I would recommend them to anyone and I've never written a review for any of the books before- until now.

Ruthless was another great book. One thing I like about this series is it's consistency. None of the books are ever bad or a let down (to me, anyway). They all hold interesting plot twists and are written in the same fashion. I never feel like Shepard cheats us out of anything, like some other authors do when they stretch a series out. I have noticed a distinguishable difference between the two newer books and 1-8, though. First off, they're darker. Maybe it's because the girls have aged more or because they've committed worse crimes. Either way, these books seem more serious and dangerous for each character- which I like. Also, I feel like the girls are slipping further and further into madness, so to speak. Their guilt is getting the better of them and it's hard to determine what is reality and what is paranoia. This is another attribute that I like, actually. But, I felt the need to point it out, because it IS different than in the other books.

At the same time, there are some things that I didn't like. The more you read the PLL books, the more you can predict them. I never predict the exact twists so to speak, but I'm so familiar with Shepard's writing style that I can tell which direction the next chapters are going to take or when a character's suspicions are false. For me, however, this still doesn't take the fun out of reading it. Because I can never predict the exact twists, I'm always on my feet! Also, sometimes I wonder if so much boy drama is necessary. It feels like so many guys are introduced and then taken away that it's pointless. But, at the same time, that's how it is in a lot of teenager's lives. Finally, there was just something a little... off with the writing in this novel. I'm not sure if Shepard was rushing to get it done, but the first half especially was different for me. Most of the character's held up to normal, except for Ezra. I really thought that he acted a little bit out of character here. But, maybe that's just me. Either way, I felt that the beginning was kind of weird and it took me a while to push through it. Once I got about a hundred page in, though, it did get a lot better.

I'm not sure why I felt the need to review this book. I guess I just wanted to put my opinion out there. But, all in all, Ruthless is another awesome PLL book! I'm loving the drama and new twists that are in the newer books! I can't wait to read Stunning. It seems like no matter what, these books stick with me (and probably the other readers, too). By this point, I've devoted so much time to reading it that I couldn't stop now. They almost all start to blur together after a while, which is why I've given each book four stars. In the end, though, they're always a good, quick read!
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J.K. Rowling, Mary GrandPré This is an amazing ending to an amazing series. Not much more description needed.
Stalker Girl - Rosemary Graham Stalker Girl is a weird book, and I'm not really sure what I think of it. If I could rate it a 2.5, I would. Since that's not possible, I just rounded up. The beginning is fairly slow, even though that's where some of the important action takes place. It does get better as you enter part two, though. From there through the first half of part three, I was reading through the book at a good pace. But, after a while I was really just hoping it would end. The novel isn't that long to begin with, but I feel like Graham could have still summed it up a little faster.

I'm not going to go into much of a summary of the books or its parts, since you can gather that from other reviews. However, much like some of the other readers, I thought that part two was the best. It was decently fast paced and more interesting than the rest of the novel. The ironic part is that this portion of the book was pure background information, set before Carly began to even think of stalking anyone. Looking back now, I think that the actual stalking parts were a little rushed and just had an overall weird tone to them. This could have been because the author was trying to portray how crazy such an event would be. Or maybe it was just that she was more comfortable writing laid-back, romantic scenes than chapters in which Carly was on edge.

Either way, I thought that Stalker Girl was just okay. Part two gave you a little bit more of an insight to Carly's character, but by the end she changes so much that I still thought she was kind of nuts. Overall, the book feels more like it's about Carly and Brian's relationship than Carly's stalking habits, considering the times when she's following Taylor around are so far and in between. There are a lot better novels that you could read about stalking, but if you're looking for a light YA book, then this might be fine for you. I'd recommend borrowing it from a library rather than purchasing Stalker Girl, though. I'll never read it again and I doubt very many people other people will either.
Daughters of the Sea #1: Hannah - Kathryn Lasky Don't have time to write a full review. I probably will later.
In short though, this book is really slow and dull. The characters lacked any luster for me and the most unique ones were introduced at the end. The main character, Hannah, was boring, too innocent, and just not easy to relate to. Plot wise, it was awful. I knew the ending before I even read the book, simply based on the description. There's no guessing involved at all. The only interesting part is the younger girl in the house that Hannah works at, with her creepy cat. But, even that doesn't make up for the fact that the book is incredibly slow, and the whole thing leads up to an event that the reader should know is going to happen no matter what. There were a few characters and ideas that the author could have expanded on to make the book actually interesting, but she didn't even do that much. Honestly, I can usually find something in a book that I liked. There wasn't much in this one. I finished it with a gut feeling that I had wasted my time and money on the novel. My advice is to not pick this one up. I have no clue why it's a Young Adult book. If anything, I would put it in the children's section (as younger kids are the only ones that might find this interesting). If you want a mermaid story, go read Siren by Tricia Rayburn or Mermaid Park (this isn't exactly ABOUT mermaids, but it seemed to satisfy me when I was younger and extremely interested in them) by Beth Mayall. Apparently there's a sequel to Hannah out...? Hopefully it's better than this. I personally don't intend on finding out.
Impulse - Ellen Hopkins I absolutely love Ellen Hopkins. I've read all of her books now, aside from Perfect (I wanted to finish this one first). I'm not sure if I loved this one as much as the Crank books or Identical. I struggled with giving it four or five stars, but in the end I decided that the things I didn't like were more of a personal preference, rather than something that the author did wrong. Impulse really is a beautiful book, with a shocking ending. I predicted what would happen within the last one hundred pages, but I still didn't think she would actually go through with it. It broke my heart and will probably do that to most other readers, as well.

I really did like Impulse. The characters were interesting, the plot was good, and I didn't really have a whole lot of issues with it. Hopkins is a brilliant writer and I love her verse. A couple of the reviews mention that the book contains too much sexual material. I would argue against that. All of Hopkins' books are rated 14+. There's nothing in them that I don't think a fourteen year old could handle. Impulse especially isn't very bad. There are a lot of references, but no actual sexual action. I think that those references make the book all the more realistic. After all, the three characters ARE teenagers, the medicines that they're on don't help their hormone levels, and I think that it's perfectly normal for them to think that way. Most teenagers in their situations would.

Speaking of the characters, I liked them as well. Conner and Vanessa were my favorite. There was something about Tony that kind of bugged me (probably how his personality changes throughout the book), which made me a little disappointed with the ending, but a lot of people seemed to enjoy him. As far as my complaints go, like I said, the ending broke my heart. But, I think that contributed to the overall greatness of Impulse. Also, Conner's family got on my nerves a little bit. They seemed like the stereotypical rich family, but unfortunately, there are a lot of people like that in our world today. Finally, I wasn't sure how realistic the descriptions of some of the drugs were. The characters acted as if the Prozac got in their bloodstream right away and had immediate effects, when I was under the assumption that it built up in you. I could be wrong, though. And I'm sure medications like that act differently in each person.

I thought that Impulse was a great book. It's definitely an interesting and emotional read. I fell in love with some of the characters and enjoyed every minute of the book. I would recommend this story to anyone, especially fans of Ellen Hopkins or verse books. Even if you've never been exposed to either one, this is a great novel to start with. Thanks for reading and I hope you give Impulse a shot!

Lastly, as a side note, there was another complaint that I've seen a lot that I'd like to argue against. You don't necessarily have to read this if you haven't read the book, but I'll try not to give anything away. People keep saying that a mental facility shouldn't put their patients in a situation where the could hurt themselves, such as the wilderness challenge in Impulse. This is the last stage of the treatment. After the patients go through it, they are free to leave. All of the parents know about it when they send their kids to Aspen Springs and it IS a choice the kids are allowed to make. The challenge is supervised, and I see no reason why this is unrealistic. As much as any institution wants to, there is no way to completely shelter someone from hurting themselves if they intend to do it. Also, the patients ARE leaving after it. If they really want to go hurt themselves, they'll do it afterwards, anyway. By this stage in the treatment, they're supposed to be well enough to handle themselves. I don't see a way Aspen Springs could have prevented this. Just a comment.
Eyes Like Stars - Lisa Mantchev I was really excited to get Eyes Like Stars. All that I had heard about it was compliments- no bad reviews. I've always been into the theater and reading a book where the characters are so involved in the world of drama seemed great. And, I liked the first hundred pages. After that, not so much. I'll admit in advance that I did not finish this book. I got about 300 pages in, skimmed the rest, and gave up. Why? I couldn't stand the main character anymore. The sheer fact that I'm writing this review without fully reading the entire book says something, because I don't usually approve of making comments on something you haven't finished, unless you have a good reason for it. Eyes Like Stars had a good reason for me.

The beginning was fine. Like all of the other reviewers said, it was a bit confusing to jump into, but things evened out after a while. Basically, the story is about Bertie, her friends, and her attempt to stay in the Theatre, when she is told she will have to leave. It should be a basic enough plot, but as it goes on, the author seems to almost add a second conflict to the story. This I didn't like at all. Focusing on one would have been plenty, without casting the original idea off to incorporate something else. But, I might have been able to handle that. If it weren't for the main character, Bertie.

Beatrice honestly got on my nerves. She acts immaturely, does whatever she wants, complains too often, and is completely fickle. I understand that this is how Lisa probably wanted her character to come off as, but it's way too extreme. The first half of the book focuses on the romantic tension between her and a pirate named Nate. Only, (spoiler alert!) Nate basically gets taken to sea and out of the Theatre entirely part of the way in. What does Bertie do? Decides she'll look for him later and moves on. The audience hardly sees any sorrow in Bertie for Nate being gone, despite the fact that Bertie was supposed to like him. What makes it worse is that this was her fault and we still see barely see remorse from her. That part alone got me aggravated with the book. But, I kept reading. Not long after Nate is gone, Bertie starts to fall for Ariel, someone she was supposed to hate before. The protagonist's changing personality drove me nuts.

As I got closer to the end, I skimmed the rest and stopped. I just couldn't read anymore. I honestly don't see a point in reading about all of the character's friends and goals if she's just going to drop them for something else. Also, I feel that the author was too descriptive in parts of the book. The readers don't need the immense detail she goes into and at times, it's just too much. Maybe someday I'll go back and completely read the rest of this book for kicks, but probably not. I know there's a sequel and a third novel coming out soon, but I don't intend on reading those either. I'm really not trying to completely steer you away from this book, but I would like to point out that it's nowhere near as good as some of these other reviews are saying. Before picking it up, please take into considerations the things I've listed above. If you think you can handle Bertie and the other poor points of this book, then go for it. I would recommend borrowing it from a library instead of wasting your money, though.
Fearscape (Horrorscape, #1) - Nenia Campbell Oh my gosh, this book was SO good. Seriously. I got it for free on my Kindle a couple of days ago from one of the author's promotions, but it's totally worth paying money for. I don't even really know how to go about reviewing it, but there were so many good things about it, that I feel like I need to attempt to anyway, haha. I wasn't sure what to expect when I started the book, but I had high expectations from all the positive reviews on GoodReads. Needless to say, it didn't let me down.

Fearscape is definitely a creepy read, which is one of the things I loved so much about it. It takes quite a bit anymore for a book to really creep me out. A lot of novels say that they're scary and terrifying, but in my opinion, they're not. Fearscape was actually an edge of your seat thrill ride. I loved all of the suspense and even at some points I didn't want to turn the page, afraid that Gavin was going to jump out of nowhere and butcher Val. Or something like that. It read almost like a horror movie, with me yelling at my Kindle, "No! Do NOT do that! Stop before something bad happens." The pace was great and I was never bored, but at the same time, it never moved so fast that I was confused as to what was going on.

The characters were awesome. Can I even express how much I loved Gavin? He was a totally insane psychopath, but in a great way. One of my favorite things about him was his lack of redeeming qualities. Often times in stalker books (especially YA ones) you have this awful bad guy that's really scary and everything, but then halfway through you figure out he has this terrible childhood and is actually really sweet and misunderstood. Or maybe he just needs a hug. Gavin wasn't that way and I'm so happy about it. There wasn't anything good about him, besides his attractive looks and seductive personality. At the beginning especially, he would talk so elegantly that I almost believed he was a true gentleman, until he let one little phrase slip revealed other intentions (don't even get me started on quotes- there were some chilling serial killer type ones in there). He was a brilliant character.

I actually liked Val quite a bit, too. Or at least, I respected her. She was smart and innocent, without coming off as some damsel-in-distress type. She WAS niave and made some poor decisions, but I could definitely relate to her. If I had met Gavin when I was a freshman in high school, I could easily see myself making the same decisions she did. I thought she was very realistic and that her interactions with Gavin were just as realistic. Their relationship was believable and I loved how once Val became romantically involved with him, Gavin didn't immediately show himself as a possessive stalker. The pace, again, was great.

The minor characters I thought were as good as they needed to be, as well. They were involved when necessary, but once the story got to the point where it entirely revolved around Val and Gavin, they faded away as I think they should have. None of them had many dimensions, but for their purpose in the book, I don't think they needed to be too complex. The mother annoyed me at times, but that might have been the point (she was overprotective, but yet in the end, she still couldn't save her daughter from danger). Nenia's writing was fabulous and I loved some of her descriptions. I'm trying to think of some flaws I found in the novel in general, but there were very few.

All in all, it was a great book. I had planned to do other things this afternoon, but instead I couldn't pull away from the book long enough to actually get anything done. No regrets, though. The ending was fantastic and even a little unexpected. I need to go buy the sequel right now. If you haven't read Fearscape, you definitely should. It's dark and creepy, but with a surprising amount of humor that pops up here and there. I'm definitely going to read more of Nenia Campbell's books.