Sunday, November 18, 2012

Kendare Blake. ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD

Theseus Cassio Lowood is a killer. A ghost killer. It's the family business. His father also went after ghosts, before he was killed on the job when Cas was seven. He and his mother travel from town to town taking care of business.

The ghost known as Anna Dressed in Blood draws Cas to Thunder Bay, Ontario. Usually on a job, he's able to keep to himself, do his detective work locating the ghost, and then take it out with no trouble. But Thunder Bay brings several new issues for him. A guy named Thomas follows him around asserting himself into the the hunt. The prom queen-type, Carmel, is also overly interested in Cas. But the most important issue is Anna herself, who is a much more powerful ghost than Cas has ever come up against.

When Cas gets to know Anna, things get even more complicated. He becomes sympathetic towards her plight. But he's supposed to kill her. Uh-oh.

I loved this book! It's a ghost story with some witty hard-boiled mystery novel sprinkled in. I was taken in immediately by witty Cas. And the supporting characters are just as wonderful. Thomas isn't merely the goofy friend type. He's becomes a fun, smart and strong friend. The relationship between Cas and Anna is unique, but it works well and I rooted for the two of them.

Kendare Blake is a new author and we're thrilled to be hosting her at our Montgomery County Book Festival in February.

Check out the trailer

Monday, November 12, 2012

David Levithan. EVERY DAY

"I keep looking at Roger's mother, who is so tired, so taxed. I feel as much belief in her as I do in God - I find faith in human perseverance, even as the universe throws challenge after challenge our way."

A (the character's name is "A") wakes up every day in a different body. It's been that way since birth. As a child, A didn't really understand what was going on, but now at sixteen, he has figured it out. (A doesn't identify as male or female, but it's easier to pick one than to keep using "he or she" or the even more cumbersome "the character.") He's able to access the memories needed to get through the day in each of the person's bodies he inhabits. He enjoys the everyday experiences and goes along just fine.

That is until he inhabits Justin's body and meets his girlfriend Rhiannon. He falls hard for her. He doesn't want to leave her. But he has no choice.

However, he manages to connect with her a few more times in different bodies. He finds a way to tell her about himself. He explains and finally convinces her that he travels from body to body. She feels the same way about him, but is reluctant to continue their relationship. A must find a way to make it work between them. After all, doesn't love conquer all?

I was intrigued by this concept and was excited to see how it played out. I think it worked well. I'm not sure I'm 100% pleased with the ending, but I think the author had no choice. You'll see what I mean when you read it. Please do read it.

One thing I really appreciated was the sheer number of mini-stories that the author had to create to depict all the lives A was traveling through. He had to create so many unique and interesting stories. Some were so compelling that I wanted A to stick around a few more days.

Another part that I loved was the relationship between A and Rhiannon. I felt the connection. I was moved by the connection. Overall, the book is unique and moving.

By the way, one of my favorite books of all time was written by David Levithan - DASH & LILY'S BOOK OF DARES. It's a great holiday book. After you read EVERY DAY, you should totally check this one out too!

For more on David Levithan, here's his website.






Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Lisa McMann. DEAD TO YOU

At seven-years-old, Ethan was abducted from his front yard. It’s nine years later and he’s been returned to his family.

He’s so happy. His parents and siblings are happy. But after a short while, his brother, Blake, becomes increasingly angry at him. Ethan isn’t sure why. His new little sister has become fast friends with him.  His mother and father are both so thrilled to have their family whole again. What's up with his brother?

Blake begins to question Ethan about the abduction. Ethan can’t remember anything about it or anything before the abduction. Blake makes accusations and begins investigating Ethan. Ethan just wants to be left alone to enjoy his new family. Why won’t Blake leave it alone? Are there really secrets to uncover about the incident?

I enjoyed Lisa McMann's CRYER'S CROSS, so I chose to read this one too. Ethan is a sympathetic character. I felt his pain and longing for his "normal" family. His little sister is a wonderfully engaging character. However, the ending left me wanting more. A lot more. I'm hoping there is a sequel. I'm not a fan of these kind of endings unless there is a sequel. But that's just me. Others loved the ending. You decide! And please, let me know what you think of the ending, if you read it.

Check out Lisa McMann's website. Below is the trailer: