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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Cover of the Week (31)

Hourglass by Myra McEntire
Description (from Goodreads):
"Since the age of fourteen, Emerson Cole has seen strange things – dead things – swooning Southern Belles, soldiers, and other eerie apparitions of the past. She’s tried everything to get rid of the visions: medication, counseling, asylums. Nothing’s worked.

So when Emerson's well-meaning brother calls in yet another consultant from a mysterious organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to give it one last try.

Michael Weaver is no ordinary consultant. He's barely older than she is; he listens like no one she's ever met before; and he doesn't make her feel the least bit crazy. As Emerson ventures deeper into the world of the Hourglass, she begins to learn the truth about her past, her future--and her very life.

A seductive time-slip novel that merges the very best of the paranormal and science fiction genres, Myra McEntire’s Hourglass is a stunning debut from an author to watch."

I saw this cover and immediately said "WOW." And then "ohmygosh, ohmygosh, ohmygosh." And then "that's so creepy." I definitely need that book on my bookshelf, especially when the cover is coupled with the fantastic description!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Review: Kiss It by Erin Downing

Title: Kiss It
Author: Erin Downing
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pub. Date: 6.15.2010
Genre: Contemporary YA
Keywords: Sexuality, Sex, Reputation, Love, Friendship, Choices, Fear
Pages: 273
Description (from Goodreads):

A girl’s gotta do who a girl’s gotta do.
Chastity Bryan has never been shy about going after what she wants. And when sexy, mysterious, so-not-from-this-town Sebastian walks into Chaz’s life, she knows in an instant that what she wants next is him. Chaz has no intention of playing for keeps—but she most definitely has intentions. Who needs true love when you’ve got true lust?
Sebastian has no idea what he’s in for—but maybe neither does Chaz….

Sometimes the greatest books come in the most unsuspecting little packages...

Yes, yes, yes! I seriously couldn't put KISS IT down, even though it would have been in my best interest because I have plenty of homework and whatnot to accomplish. Chastity Bryan is a breath of fresh air.

Chastity, or Chaz, is almost obsessed with the idea of sex and sexuality. To her, sex and love don't always occur in tandem, in fact, she prefers it that way. She's the type of girl that says when and she wants it now, especially when a new, hot boy moves to town and tempts her in all kinds of ways.

Okay, but wait! I know some of you out there are thinking this might just be a bit too much for me... This Chaz girl is more sexual than I like my main characters. I like them sweet and innocent and ignorant with their sexuality. Well, I admit, this might not be the book for you, BUT, if you can handle this side of Chaz, I can promise you that there is much more to her character. And, yes, there's teen sex in this book, but there's a point to it and I believe it's well done. This book sends a message to readers that's definitely worth hearing. 

One of my favorite aspects of this book is the fact that Chaz isn't perceived as loose or lacking morality. She keeps her sexual endeavors well under wraps... and Chaz is a lot more talk than actual action. She's smart, funny, sarcastic, and strong - that's what I appreciate in a main character, regardless of how raunchy some of her comments may be. But, even if her classmates knew of her preoccupation with sex and judged her for it, I had the distinct feeling that Downing wouldn't be encouraging the reader to do the same. Even though Chaz has a few things backwards and doesn't always make the wisest decisions, she's real and she sticks to her guns. Sexuality and a healthy dose of curiosity are normal and they shouldn't be condemned.

Erin Downing's KISS IT is a quick read, due to the fact that it's less than 300 pages and it's difficult to put down. I've got my fingers crossed that she's got more novels like this up her sleeve! Her previous two novels are part of the Simon Pulse romantic comedies, which are wonderful, but this novel puts Downing on a whole different level.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Cover of the Week (30)

Cover of the Week is a weekly feature at The Hiding Spot, in which I share a cover that gives me that swoony feeling.

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Tor/September 2011
Description (from Goodreads):
Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story. . .

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until his gruesome murder by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn't expect anything outside of the ordinary: move, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, but now stained red and dripping blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

And she, for whatever reason, spares his life.

I love, love, love this cover. It was only a few weeks ago that I heard about this book (the awesome title caught my eye). I checked out the author's website and found a pretty intense description, which intrigued me further. Then... THEN... I saw this cover AND HOLY MACARONI I NEED THIS BOOK. I wanted to point out things I like about it, but there are just too many elements... But I think it was the hair that wowed me first. Then the rest of the cover came into view and I swooned. Really, honestly swooned. Gorgeous!

The 2011 Bloody Jack Challenge

I've been meaning to read the Bloody Jack books for the longest time, so when the fabulous Kristen over at Bookworming in the 21st Century announced that she'd be hosted a reading challenge centered about them, I knew I had to sign up! Below you'll find information about the challenge levels and a link to sign up!

Crow's nest - This is for those who aren't sure about the series. Read at least one of the novels in the series.

Batten down the hatches - For those of us that have started the series, but not finished it, either pick up where you left off and finish the series.
Dead men tell no tales - Read the whole series. Whether it's a re-read, first time, or even more than your second time.

To join the challenge, go here.

I'm going to attempt the highest challenge, Dead men tell no tales, because I have a feeling I'm going to love these books and, once I read one, I'll want to read them all. Below is a list of all of the books released thus far, which I hope to cross of one by one.

  1. Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy (Bloody Jack, #1)
  2. Curse of the Blue Tattoo: Being an Account of the Misadventures of Jacky Faber, Midshipman and Fine Lady (Bloody Jack, #2)
  3. Under the Jolly Roger: Being an Account of the Further Nautical Adventures of Jacky Faber (Bloody Jack, #3)
  4. In the Belly of the Bloodhound: Being an Account of a Particularly Peculiar Adventure in the Life of Jacky Faber (Bloody Jack, #4)
  5. Mississippi Jack: Being an Account of the Further Waterborne Adventures of Jacky Faber, Midshipman, Fine Lady, and Lily of the West (Bloody Jack, #5)
  6. My Bonny Light Horseman: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, in Love and War (Bloody Jack, #6)
  7. Rapture of the Deep: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, Soldier, Sailor, Mermaid, Spy (Bloody Jack, #7)
  8. The Wake of the Lorelei Lee: Being an Account of the Adventures of Jacky Faber, on her Way to Botany Bay (Bloody Jack, #8)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Review: Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King

Title: Please Ignore Vera Dietz
Author: A.S. King
Publisher: Knopf BFYR
Pub. Date: 10.12.2010
Genre: Contemporary YA
Keyword: Friendship, Love, Family, Death, Grief, Forgiveness, Secrets
Pages: 326
Description (from Goodreads):
Vera’s spent her whole life secretly in love with her best friend, Charlie Kahn. And over the years she’s kept a lot of his secrets. Even after he betrayed her. Even after he ruined everything.

So when Charlie dies in dark circumstances, Vera knows a lot more than anyone—the kids at school, his family, even the police. But will she emerge to clear his name? Does she even want to?

Edgy and gripping, Please Ignore Vera Dietz is an unforgettable novel: smart, funny, dramatic, and always surprising.

I adore this book... In fact, I read it at the very end of 2010, after I had already made a tentative list with my favorites of the year, then ended up revising the list to include A.S. King's sophomore novel.

PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ captured my attention from the first page. I recommend that you have ample time for reading if you plan to delve into this book because you're going to lose all motivation to do anything other than get to the novel's final page... But, if you have more willpower than me, make yourself get up out of your comfy chair and take your time with the Vera's story... because as much as you're going to want to know how the novel ends, you're not going to want to leave Vera, her father, Charlie or any of the other characters behind. Savor this story if you or you'll be itching to explore each page again. Oh, who am I kidding? You're going to want to reread it regardless.

The novel is told primarily from Vera's point-of-view, but every so often the viewpoint will switch to another narrator. Vera's single father takes a turn or two, which I loved. So often parents are absent in YA lit, but in VERA DIETZ, King not only includes a parent, she gives him a voice. As a daughter, sometimes I wanted to shout out, "You're going about that the wrong way, mister," but there was an even greater part of me that wanted to hug Mr. Dietz,  then head home and hug my own father.

I'm fairly certain I was a bit in love with Charlie Kahn by the end of the novel, especially after reading the few short pages of his narration. Vera is confused and angry about Charlie's actions and his untimely death, but it is so easy to understand why she loved him... as both a friend and, as much as she didn't want to, romantically. I found myself wishing Charlie wasn't gone or that time could somehow be turned back... for both Vera and Charlie sake. 

Vera is most definitely one of my all-time favorite narrators. She's quirky, sarcastic, angry, destructive, and so very, very real. I still hear her words echoing through my mind, weeks after reading her story. Her voice is distinct and resonant... she's one of those characters I'll never forget.

Read PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ - you won't regret it. With pages full of secrets, perfectly flawed characters, and a pagoda, you'll quickly lose yourself in Vera's story... and you won't want to find your way out.

And be sure to check out the book trailer below.... it's fantastic! The narrator sounds exactly how I imagine Vera to sound. Each time I watch the trailer I feel an urge to reread the novel!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

WoW is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine!

He's So Not Worth It by Kieran Scott
Simon & Schuster/6.7.2011
Description (from Goodreads):

Ally Ryan, come on down to the Jersey Shore and forget your troubles!
Have you recently been humiliated in front of your friends and family at your former best friend's birthday party? Was your almost boyfriend partly responsible for that humiliation by withholding some vital information about where your estranged father is? Did you come home to find said estranged father sitting on your stoop?
If so, then it sounds like you could use a vacation! The Jersey Shore is the place to be. Your mother may be living with her boyfriend of only a few months, but at least the stunt Shannen pulled has put some of your friends back in your court. Even so, you're still angry and what better way to get over Jake than to blow off some steam with local guy, Cooper? People will hardly recognize your new attitude, but the old one wasn't getting you anywhere, so who cares!

Jake Graydon, an exciting opportunity is waiting for you in the service industry!
Are your grades so low your parents have grounded you for the summer? Did you the girl you really like unceremoniously leave you behind? Would you rather eat dirt than see your friends again? Then a job at the local coffee shop is just the ticket! Surprisingly, Ally's father is the new manager so you get to be reminded of her nearly every day. Maybe it's time to start flirting with your best friend's ex or even taking school a bit more seriously. Especially when you finally see Ally and she's hanging around with some loser and it's couldn't be more clear that she is over you.

Have a great summer!

I love, love, loved SHE'S SO DEAD TO US, the first Ally Ryan book, and was so pumped when this popped up on my Goodreads feed. The cover is adorable and the description... well I think it's obvious how great the description is. Of course, after reading, my eyes went directly to the release date... June! How will I ever make it that long?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Review: Tempestuous by Lesley Livingston

Title: Tempestuous
Author: Lesley Livingston
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pub. Date: 12.21.10
Genre: Paranormal YA
Keywords: Faeries, Romance, Good vs Evil, Family, Secrets, Lies
Pages: 368
Description (from Goodreads):

"I don't love Sonny Flannery."
That's the lie Kelley Winslow told to protect the boy she loves from a power he doesn't know he possesses. Devastated, Sonny retreats—to a haven for Lost Fae that's hidden deep underneath New York City.
But Kelley's not about to let things end in heartbreak. To get Sonny back, she's got to find out who's after his magick—and how to use her own. She's got to uncover who's recruiting Janus Guards to murderously hunt innocent Faerie. She's got to help rebuild the shattered theater company she called family. And she's got to do it all without getting dangerously distracted by the Fennrys Wolf, whose legendary heart of stone seems to melt whenever he's around Kelley.
The intrigue and romance that began with Wondrous strange and Darklight come to a stormy head in Tempestuous, the breathtaking conclusion to Lesley Livingston's ravishing urban Faerie trilogy.

Lesley Livingston left readers hanging with a gut wrenching conclusion to DARKLIGHT... not only was it intense, but readers were left to wait for answers for months. Luckily, Livingston knows exactly what her characters (and readers!) need. Every bit of emotional turmoil inflicted on the characters and readers in the second installment is essential to fully appreciate Kelley's journey and this phenomenal final chapter to her story.

I don't regret reading these books as they were released, but, if you haven't read any of them yet, I highly recommend reading them all in rapid succession rather than with months in between. Each time I picked up the newest installment, I was worried that I'd be forgetting a briefly mentioned detail that would tie everything together. I really love these books, so I have a pretty good memory of the events and whatnot, but there's something to be said about reading a trilogy or series all in one monstrous bite. I'm a strong proponent of Kelley and Sonny's relationship, so I felt the sting of DARKLIGHT's conclusion during the wait for TEMPESTUOUS, but I think some of my wild longing for this third book dissipated over the long months I waited. Take my word for it, these books are well worth reading, and, now that they're all released, it's the perfect time to pick them up.

Livingston writes absolutely fantastic love scenes... and fight scenes. Sometimes she even combines them... there will be an epic battle and then a little timeout for some kissing and then back to the fight. Love it!

I have a love/hate relationship with the Sonny-Kelley-Fennrys love triangle... because I honestly have a hard time choosing and that isn't normal for me. It does, however, show just how good Livingston at writing the romance aspect of her stories. This part of the novel is so realistic to me... Kelley loves Sonny, but that doesn't mean that she can't have feelings for someone else. Still, she must look within herself and determine what her feelings for Fenn mean not only for her, but for her relationship with Sonny. Ahhh, yes. Many of us have had to figure out this confusing debacle.

I appreciate that Kelley is such a strong individual and that her growth is clearly evident throughout each book. Not only does she develop her skills and gifts in regard to her faerie heritage, she also learns to take charge of her life and do what she thinks is right, even if it ends up causing all kinds of trouble and heartache. Even faerie princesses get confused when it comes to duty and love and all the rest... but Kelley takes charge and does what needs to be done.

I would be heartbroken about this trilogy ending, but for the fact that I know Livingston has more stories to tell and worlds and characters to introduce her readers to... and I'm anxious to meet them all!

Review copy provided by publisher.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Review: Sea by Heidi R. Kling

Title: Sea
Author: Heidi R. Kling
Publisher: Penguin Putnam
Pub. Date: 6.10.2010
Genre: Contemporary YA
Keywords: Family, Loss, Natural Disasters, Volunteering, Relationships
Pages: 336
Description (from GoodReads):

Still haunted by nightmares of her mother's death, fifteen-year-old Sienna Jones reluctantly travels to Indonesia with her father's relief team to help tsunami orphans with their post traumatic stress disorder—something Sienna knows a lot about. Since her mother's plane went missing over the Indian Ocean three years before, Sienna doesn't do anything if it involves the ocean or planes, so this trip is a big step forward.

But the last thing she expects is to fall for Deni, a brooding Indonesian boy who lives at the orphanage, and just so happens to be HOT. When Deni hears a rumor that his father may be alive, Sienna doesn't think twice about running away with him to the epicenter of the disaster. Unfortunately, what they find there could break both their hearts.

I liked this book, but I just didn't love it.

My main problem with the book was Sienna. I just didn't feel a connection with her character... she felt one-dimensional and I didn't always find her very believable. I know she liked Deni and found him attractive and whatnot, but running away with him in a dangerous area when she barely even knows him? Maybe I'm jaded, but I simply didn't believe or understand her character.

I did, however, really appreciate the rest of this novel and plot. The focus on volunteering and the discussion of the tragedy that befell Indonesia and surrounding areas are very important topics and I commend Kling for including them in SEA. I felt inspired to go out and make a difference... regardless of how big or little. This novel has the potential to encourage readers to take notice of what's going on in the world and do their part to make it a better place and there's always more room for that in YA lit!

SEA is definitely worth exploring... and hopefully you'll have a deeper connection to Sienna than I did.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Cover of the Week (29)

Cover of the Week is a weekly feature at The Hiding Spot, in which I share a cover that gives me that swoony feeling.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Simon & Schuster/9.27.2011
Description (from Goodreads):
Mara Dyer believes life can’t get any stranger than waking up in a
hospital with no memory of how she got there. It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember
that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed. There is.

She definitely doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been
through, she can fall in love. She’s wrong.

Michelle Hodkin's THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER is one of my top 10 most anticipated debuts of 2011... and now that there's a cover to look at, I'm even more interested! Absolutely gorgeous! Hurry up, September...!

Waiting on Wednesday

WoW is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine!

This Girl is Different by JJ Johnson
Peachtree Publishers/5.1.2011
Description (from Goodreads):
This girl is different… That’s what Evie has always told herself—and it’s true. Home-schooled by her counter culture mom, she’s decided to see what high school is like for the first time—for her senior year. And what a year it is.

As it turns out, it’s not just Evie who’s Different. Lots of people are. Many of her assumptions about others are turned on their heads as she makes friends with kids her own age for the first time, discovers what’s good and what’s bad about high school, and learns lessons about power and its abuse—both by the administration and by Evie herself.

It was this cover that caught my eye, but the description sounds interesting as well... abuse of power in a high school? Who would've guessed...? :/

Putting Makeup on Dead People by Jen Violi
Description (from Goodreads):

It's been four years since Donna Parisi's father passed away, but it might as well have been four days. Donna makes conversation and goes through the motion, but she hasn't really gotten on with life. She's not close with anyone, she doesn't have a boyfriend and she's going to college at the local university with a major that her mother picked. But one day Donna has an epiphany. She wants to work with dead people. She wants to help people say goodbye and she wants to learn to love a whole person—body and soul. She wants to live her life and be loving, at grieving and at embalming and cremating,too. Even as she makes the decision, things start to change. Donna makes friends with the charismatic new student, Liz. She notices the boy, Charlie, at her table and realizes that maybe he's been noticing her, too. And she begins to forgive the rest of her family for living their lives while she's been busy moping.
Jennifer Violi's gentle, moving story of a girl who finds a life in the midst of death will appeal to any reader who's felt stuck and found inspiration in an unexpected place.

I've always been drawn to novel about grief and moving on and this looks like an entirely new take on the subject... and I feel like it has the potential to be something really, really moving.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Review: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Title: Unearthly
Author: Cynthia Hand
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pub. Date: 1.4.2011
Genre: Paranormal YA
Keywords: Nephilim, Angels, Romance, Love Triangles, Mystery, Purpose, Visions
Pages: 435
Description (from Goodreads):

In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . . .
Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.
Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.
As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?
Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.

UNEARTHLY, Cynthia Hand's debut novel, offers a unique take on angel mythology, a strong heroine, and a love triangle that has the potential to upset destiny.

I'm a bit divided when it comes to 'angel' books. Some of them I really like... and some are almost too formulaic. Hand, however, doesn't fall into this trap. I liked that Clara was the character that has to deal with the power, secrets, and choices, rather than the human girl who falls for the dark, gorgeous, tortured supernatural being. Don't get me wrong - I like this formula if the writing and plot measure up, but it's definitely nice to see something different.

When it comes to love triangles, I don't see the point unless there reader is actually going to be torn between the two candidates. By the end of the novel, I thought I'd picked a side, but Hand does her authorly duty and keeps the reader on their toes. It isn't just about personality and looks with this situation... I'm curious to see what other twists Hand will throw into the next couple novels... and if I'll stick with my choice for Clara.

In this first installment, we start to explore the world of the Nephilim. What ended up being mostly background information in UNEARTHLY looks like it's going to be at the forefront of the plot for the next book. I find Clara's mother particularly intriguing. She withholds a lot of information from Clara and I'm hoping we find out more about her past in book two.

All in all, UNEARTHLY is a well-written, suspenseful novel that is sure to find fans among those with a taste for supernatural romance.

Top Ten Books I Resolve to Read in 2011

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the blog The Broke and the Bookish. To participate in the meme, go here.

1. NEVER LET ME GO by Kazuo Ishiguro

2. THE CHINA GARDEN by Liz Berry

3. THE EVERAFTER by Amy Huntley

4. ATONEMENT by Ian McEwan

5. P.S. I LOVE YOU by Cecilia Ahern

6. EVENING by Susan Minot

7. STORM GLASS by Maria V. Snyder

8. THE DEMON'S LEXICON by Sarah Rees Brennan

9. THE WARRIOR HEIR by Cinda Williams Chima


Is there anything else I should make sure I read in 2011? Has anyone out there read any of these books... what'd you think?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Review: The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade

Title: The Ghost and the Goth
Author: Stacey Kade
Publisher: Hyperion
Pub. Date: 6.29.2010
Genre: Paranormal YA
Keywords: Ghosts, Seer, High School, Romance, Social Identity
Pages: 281
Description (from Goodreads):
Alona Dare–Senior in high school, co-captain of the cheerleading squad, Homecoming Queen three years in a row, voted most likely to marry a movie star… and newly dead.

I’m the girl you hated in high school. Is it my fault I was born with it all-good looks, silky blond hair, a hot bod, and a keen sense of what everyone else should not be wearing? But my life isn’t perfect, especially since I died. Run over by a bus of band geeks—is there anything more humiliating? As it turns out, yes—watching your boyfriend and friends move on with life, only days after your funeral. And you wouldn’t believe what they’re saying about me now that they think I can’t hear them. To top it off, I’m starting to disappear, flickering in and out of existence. I don’t know where I go when I’m gone, but it’s not good. Where is that freaking white light already?

Will Killian–Senior in high school, outcast, dubbed “Will Kill” by the popular crowd for the unearthly aura around him, voted most likely to rob a bank…and a ghost-talker.

I can see, hear, and touch the dead. Unfortunately, they can also see, hear and touch me. Yeah, because surviving high school isn’t hard enough already. I’ve done my best to hide my “gift.” After all, my dad, who shared my ability, killed himself because of it when I was fifteen. But lately, pretending to be normal has gotten a lot harder. A new ghost—an anonymous, seething cloud of negative energy with the capacity to throw me around—is pursuing me with a vengeance. My mom, who knows nothing about what I can do, is worrying about the increase in odd incidents, my shrink is tossing around terms like “temporary confinement for psychiatric evaluation,” and my principal, who thinks I’m a disruption and a faker, is searching for every way possible to get rid of me. How many weeks until graduation?

Stacey Kade's THE GHOST AND THE GOTH is just so. much. fun. 

I've come to appreciate novels in which the point-of-view switches between two or more characters, and I think that this tactic works really well with this particular novel. When characters are like Will and Alona, coming from totally different backgrounds with completely different views about people and their surroundings, and the reader knows their hatred is going to turn into some kind of smoldering attraction, being able to experience both characters' emotions and snarky thoughts makes the buildup so much more intense.

I liked Will right from the start of the novel, but Alona took a bit longer to grow on me. I was worried that I'd continue liking Will and Alona wouldn't grow on me, then the romantic plot line would fall flat, but not the case! There's more to Alona than meets the eye... Which is good because, even though Will is a teenage boy who appreciates Alona from the outside, the reader might want a bit more for him.

This novel isn't all ghosts, witty banter, and growing attraction though, there are some more serious elements as well. Kade seamlessly wove these elements into the supernatural plotline... It would spoilery to go into detail, but this aspect of the novel was done extremely well.

I'm anxiously awaiting the next installment of Will and Alona's story, QUEEN OF THE DEAD, which will be released this summer!