Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Home    Challenges    Reviews    Features    Contests    Review Policy    Contact

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Review: Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf

Allie lost everything the night her boyfriend, Trip, died in a horrible car accident—including her memory of the event. As their small town mourns his death, Allie is afraid to remember because doing so means delving into what she’s kept hidden for so long: the horrible reality of their abusive relationship. 
When the police reopen the investigation, it casts suspicion on Allie and her best friend, Blake, especially as their budding romance raises eyebrows around town. Allie knows she must tell the truth. Can she reach deep enough to remember that night so she can finally break free? 
Debut writer Jennifer Shaw Wolf takes readers on an emotional ride through the murky waters of love, shame, and, ultimately, forgiveness.

I think I have an unhealthy interest in characters that suffer from memory loss. Seriously. From the moment I read the description of Breaking Beautiful - and saw the foreboding cover - I knew I'd have to read it. I didn't have a choice; it demanded my attention.

While it was this one detail, the amnesia, that drew me to Breaking Beautiful, it was actually the abusive relationship that Allie keeps so carefully hidden that kept me transfixed. Having been in a couple rather unhealthy relationships myself, my heart broke for Allie. I think it's often hard for people to understand why someone would stay in an abusive relationship, and perhaps you can never fully understand if you haven't experienced it for yourself (and you should be happy of that!), but Shaw handles the subject with careful hand. She gives an honest, sensitive portrayal of an abusive relationship, showing that abusive relationships are not starkly black and white for those intimately involved.

The presence of amnesia in a novel's description often signals mystery, which is true of Breaking Beautiful. For most the novel, I really wasn't focused on what happened the night Trip died. I was much more interested in Allie, her story before Trip died, and the fallout of the accident. Gradually, as Allie regained her memories and a romance developed with her best friend, Blake, I remembered that what happened the night of the accident was actually quite important. Assuming Trip didn't kill himself, somebody helped cause his untimely demise... and quite a few characters had motive. Still, I had no idea what happened that night and discovered the truth right along with Allie, which was quite powerful.

I highly recommend Breaking Beautiful to fans of dramatic contemporary YA. Shaw's debut isn't cute and bubbly, though it does have definite light woven into the dark themes and issues. There is a heaviness to this book's content, but it is, ultimately, a hopeful story. I look forward to more from this author!

Walker BFYR, Hardcover, April 2012, ISBN: 9780802723529, 354 pages.

Be sure to check out the book trailer too!

Waiting on Wednesday: Dark Star

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine!

Dark Star
Bethany Frenette
Audrey Whitticomb has nothing to fear. Her mother is the superhero Morning Star, the most deadly crime-fighter in the Twin Cities, so it’s hard for Audrey not to feel safe. That is, until she’s lured into the sweet night air by something human and not human—something with talons and teeth, and a wide, scarlet smile. 
Now Audrey knows the truth: her mom doesn’t fight crime at night. She fights Harrowers—livid, merciless beings who were trapped Beneath eons ago. Yet some have managed to escape. And they want Audrey dead, just because of who she is: one of the Kin. 
To survive, Audrey will need to sharpen the powers she has always had. When she gets close to someone, dark corners of the person’s memories become her own, and she sometimes even glimpses the future. If Audrey could only get close to Patrick Tigue, a powerful Harrower masquerading as human, she could use her Knowing to discover the Harrowers’ next move. But Leon, her mother’s bossy, infuriatingly attractive sidekick, has other ideas. Lately, he won’t let Audrey out of his sight. 
When an unthinkable betrayal puts Minneapolis in terrible danger, Audrey discovers a wild, untamed power within herself. It may be the key to saving her herself, her family, and her city. Or it may be the force that destroys everything—and everyone—she loves.

This description is interesting... 

It has so much going on that I feel like I need to read the book, if only just to figure out what's going on. I mean, what is this world like that it's not odd to have a superhero mother named Morning Star, but it is weird to fight creatures called Harrowers and be something called Kin? 

Very interesting indeed... I'm looking forward to this one!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Fantastic Five: Repackaged Books/New Covers

Fantastic Five is a new-ish feature at The Hiding Spot! These posts will always feature five of something - whether it be forthcoming novels, favorite authors, books with a common theme, or newly released covers. Whatever the topic, there will always be five items featured and they will always be fantastic!

To clarify this week's topic:
 I've picked novels that were published as hardcover and acquired new cover art for the paperback version or older novels that are being repackaged after years on the shelves.

Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson 
The Breakfast Club meets Sarah Dessen in this New York Times bestselling summertime coming-of-age drama. 

Sentenced to a summer of peach picking, three Georgia girls test the limits of the official state slogan-Wisdom, Justice, and Moderation. They are in for one juicy summer....  

Birdie is shy and reeling from her parents' split.  

Leeda is trying to escape her sister's shadow-and have a little fun with her boyfriend. While 

Murphy just wants to cause some mischief. 

Together these three very different girls will discover the secret to finding the right boy, making the truest of friends, and picking the perfect Georgia peach.
Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson
Meet Kate Malone-straight A science and math geek, minister's daughter, ace long-distance runner, girlfriend, unwilling family caretaker, emotional avoidance champion. Kate manages her life by organizing it, as logically as the periodic table. She can handle it all-or so she thinks. Then, like a string of chemical reactions, everything happens: the Malones' neighbors get burned out of their home and move in. Because her father is a Good Man of God (and a Not Very Thoughtful Parent), Kate has to share her room with her nemesis, Teri Litch, and Teri's adorable, troublemaking little brother. And through it all, she's still waiting to hear from the only college she has applied to: MIT. Kate's life is less and less under control-and then, something happens that blows it all apart, and forces her to examine her life, self, and heart for the first time. Set in the same community as the remarkable Speak, Catalyst is a novel that will make you think, laugh, cry, and rejoice-sometimes at the same time.
Inside (Inside Out/Outside In) by Maria V. Snyder
The world of Inside is simple. Do your job, stay out of the way and don't dream of anything better. Because as every Scrub knows, there are no other options. 
Until Trella—the Queen of the Pipes, as some call her—gets involved with a revolution that will rock her world…. 
Trella was just doing a favor for a friend—her only friend. Hiding an injured man from the Pop Cops seemed easy enough—though dangerous. But then she discovered that the myths of Outside might be real…. 
Being Inside's hero only left Trella with more work. Ducking those responsibilities, she continued to explore her stark world—and found something she never expected. Strangers. From Outside…
Fade Out by Nova Ren Suma
Originally Published as Dani Noir
If this were a movie, you'd open to the first page of this book and be transported to a whole other world. Everything would be in black and white, except maybe for the girl in pink polka-dot tights, and this really great music would start to swell in the background. All of a sudden, you wouldn't be able to help it--you'd be a part of the story, you'd be totally sucked in. You'd be in this place, filled with big lies, mysterious secrets, and a tween girl turned sleuth.... 
Zoom in on thirteen-year-old Dani Callanzano. It's the summer before eighth grade, and Dani is stuck in her nothing-ever-happens town with only her favorite noir mysteries at the Little Art movie theater to keep her company. 
one day, a real-life mystery begins to unravel--at the Little Art! And it all has something to do with a girl in polka-dot tights.... Armed with a vivid imagination, a flair for the dramatic, and her knowledge of all things Rita Hayworth, Dani sets out to solve the mystery, and she learns more about herself than she ever thought she could.

 Once by Cameron Dokey
Includes Before Midight, Golden, and Orchid
Read “happily ever after” with this magical repackage that includes three enchanting, retold fairy tales.In this value-priced bind-up of three beloved retellings, readers will journey to faraway fairy tale lands. Before Midnight revisits Cinderella’s story in France, Golden puts a new spin on Rapunzel’s romance, and Wild Orchid reimagines the Chinese tale of Mulan. With so much real-life drama in today’s busy world, Once allows readers to escape into whimsical realms where every story has a happily ever after.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine!

The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life
Tara Altebrando
Dutton Juvenile/7.5.2012
An all-day scavenger hunt in the name of eternal small-town glory With only a week until graduation, there’s one last thing Mary and her friends must do together: participate in the Oyster Point High Official Unofficial Senior Week Scavenger Hunt. And Mary is determined to win. 
Mary lost her spot at Georgetown to self-professed “it” bully Pete Lembo, and she’s not about to lose again. But everyone is racing for the finish line with complicated motives, and the team’s all-night adventure becomes all-night drama as shifting alliances, flared tempers, and crushing crushes take over. As the items and points pile up, Mary and her team must reinvent their strategy—and themselves—in order to win.

First off, I loooove this cover. I don't know what it is about it, but I pretty much have to have it on my bookshelf. Gah! I don't even have words.

Secondly, the synopsis is amazing. I love books about road trips and for some reason a scavenger hunt seems to have a similar vibe. I feel like you learn so much about characters in these particular situations. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Review: One Moment by Kristina McBride

This was supposed to be the best summer of Maggie’s life. Now it’s the one she’d do anything to forget. 
Maggie Reynolds remembers hanging out at the gorge with her closest friends after a blowout party the night before. She remembers climbing the trail hand in hand with her perfect boyfriend, Joey. She remembers that last kiss, soft, lingering, and meant to reassure her. So why can’t she remember what happened in the moment before they were supposed to dive? Why was she left cowering at the top of the cliff, while Joey floated in the water below—dead? 
As Maggie’s memories return in snatches, nothing seems to make sense. Why was Joey acting so strangely at the party? Where did he go after taking her home? And if Joey was keeping these secrets, what else was he hiding? 
The latest novel from the author of The Tension of Opposites, One Moment is a mysterious, searing look at how an instant can change everything you believe about the world around you.

Since the moment I finished Kristina McBride's debut novel, The Tension of Opposites, I've been waiting for her to offer readers something new. When One Moment arrived unexpectedly at my doorstep, my wait was finally over. But now the moment of truth was upon me... would my high expectations be met?

Yes! Those expectation have been met and exceeded and I want to jump up and down and tell everyone how undeniably brilliant One Moment is. (Phew.) It has been a couple weeks since I finished reading McBride's sophomore novel - and by "reading" I mean "inhaled in a matter of hours" - but it refuses to leave my head. I find myself thinking about it when my mind randomly connects things in real life with small, sometimes seemingly insignificant details from the story.

The other day, someone mentioned a quilt. In the novel, right after the accident in which Maggie's boyfriend Joey ends up dead, Maggie huddles on her couch wrapped in a quilt her grandmother made. I was immediately transported back to Maggie's world and found myself thinking about and revisiting parts of her story. I might just be a crazy person, but I like to think that it's Kristina McBride's ability to appeal to her readers' emotions and pull them fully into her characters' worlds that keeps bringing me back to One Moment time after time... no small feat!

While both of McBride's novels are contemporary YA that feature rather dark, sad events and female protagonists, they're a world apart. While I could clearly tell that One Moment was a "McBride" novel, it was unique and had it's own power completely separate from that of The Tension of Opposites. Maggie is very different than McBride's first protagonist, yet I still connected deeply with her, just as I did with Tessa.

There is so much more I could say about One Moment, but I fear becoming spoilery, so I'll stop while I'm ahead. If you're already a fan of McBride, for goodness sake, preorder One Moment! For the rest of you, if you like a well written contemporary YA rife with emotion, mystery, drama, and romance, you simply must read this novel... and The Tension of Opposites while you're waiting!

EgmontUSA, June 2012, Hardcover, ISBN: 9781606840863, 272 pages. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Review: Rosebush by Michele Jaffe

Instead of celebrating Memorial Day weekend on the Jersey Shore, Jane is in the hospital surrounded by teddy bears, trying to piece together what happened last night. One minute she was at a party, wearing fairy wings and cuddling with her boyfriend. The next, she was lying near-dead in a rosebush after a hit-and-run. Everyone believes it was an accident, despite the phone threats Jane swears were real. But the truth is a thorny thing. As Jane's boyfriend, friends, and admirers come to visit, more memories surface-not just from the party, but from deeper in her past . . . including the night her best friend Bonnie died.  
With nearly everyone in her life a suspect now, Jane must unravel the mystery before her killer attacks again. Along the way, she's forced to examine the consequences of her life choices in this compulsively readable thriller.

I should probably start off by saying that I am a huge Michele Jaffe fan. Huge. I started reading her books back in freshman year of high school... and I didn't start with the YA titles. Instead, I was addicted to her Arboretti Family novels, which are adult historical mysteries set in Europe with plenty of romance and steamy encounters. 

After I devoured those, I read Bad Kitty, one of her YA novels. I didn't know if I'd like it since it is nothing like her adult titles, but I loved it! The main character, Jasmine, is wonderful and hilarious and I'm not sure if anyone could manage to not laugh aloud while reading Bad Kitty and its sequel, Kitty Kitty. These books don't get the attention they deserve!

Then Rosebush came along. Again, the description made it sound like a complete departure from what I was familiar with from Jaffe. At this point, Jaffe had proved that she's a very versatile writer and I'd missed her characters, so I had no choice but to give this newest offering a try.

Rosebush reminds me of an edgier, more succinct version of Pretty Little Liars. Admittedly, I've never read these novels, but I have watched some of the television show, so this comparison is based entirely on my knowledge and opinion of the CW show rather than the novels. I felt like Rosebush brings the same rush, panic, and mystery as PLL in a much smaller package, which packed an impressive punch. I felt so much emotion in such a short span of time that I was left breathless.

Having read Jaffe's adult novels, I knew she was fully capable of writing a good mystery/thriller, but it was interesting to see it done in a YA contemporary setting rather than historic London. I truly had no idea who had tried to kill Jane. One minute I felt sure it had to be one particularly guilty looking individual, then I be totally unsure by the next chapter. I really couldn't put Rosebush down until I determined which character ran Jane down or Jaffe revealed the culprit! 

Rosebush was full of twists and turns that kept me muddling through the details of Jane's accident right along with her. Jaffe has delivered another compelling read, ensuring I'll be reading her next book... no matter what genre is!

Razorbill, December 2010, Paperback, ISBN: 9781595143532, 326 pages.

This weekend I was able to attend the RT Booklovers Convention and I finally was able to meet Michele Jaffe in person! It was the end of the day and I was tired and a hot mess, but still SO EXCITED to meet an author that I've been reading for years! She's completely fabulous and I'm extremely jealous of her hair. In the photo below we're trying out a pose recommended by one of Michele's friend that is supposed to make us look amazing in photographs...  Did it work? ;)

Michele's new book, Ghost Flower released this week and I must get my hands on a copy!


Friday, April 6, 2012

Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee. 
Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. 
Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha…and the secrets of her heart.

I was completely taken with Leigh Bardugo's debut. Shadow and Bone is marvelous... seriously. The world is richly detailed, the main and secondary characters are engaging, and the fantasy elements distinctive. I couldn't put it down!

Alina doesn't think she's anything special, until she accidentally taps into previously unrealized power within to save her best friend... power that marks her as Grisha. The Grisha are revered in Ravka and are much above Alina's current station in life. She is taken under the wing of the Darkling, the mysterious and powerful leader of the Grisha, and is forced to leave her best friend behind in order to train among her new found peers in a world she knows nothing about.

The time Alina spends training with her fellow Grisha successfully allowed the reader to observe external and internal changes of the heroine and was a great opportunity to learn more about the culture and world of the Grisha. I love how much depth and detail is present in Shadow and Bone, as it is usually the aspect of YA Fantasy I find lacking.

Bardugo doesn't make things easy for the reader. The reader and Alina are often unsure of who to trust, sharing the same insecurities. Except the reader doesn't have the weight of saving Ravka on their shoulders like the unsuspecting heroine...

And there's romance! And two possible romantic interests! And no love triangle! How is this possible, you ask? I'm not telling... because that would be very spoilery. And who wants that!?

Great YA fantasy doesn't come along every day... do not miss Shadow and Bone!

Henry Holt & Co, Hardcover, June 2012, ISBN: 9780805094598, 368 pages.

Be sure to check out the book trailer too!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Fantastic Five: Forthcoming Novels

Fantastic Five is a new-ish feature at The Hiding Spot! These posts will always feature five of something - whether it be forthcoming novels, favorite authors, books with a common theme, or newly released covers. Whatever the topic, there will always be five items featured and they will always be fantastic!

Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst 
Margaret K. McElderry/9.11.12 Goodreads 
In a desert land where serpents made of unbreakable glass fly through the sky and wolves made of only sand hunt within storms, Liyana is destined to be a vessel, to sacrifice herself so that her clan’s goddess can inhabit her body... but her goddess never comes.

The Unnaturalists by Tiffany Trent
Simon and Schuster BFYR/8.14.12 Goodreads
In an alternate London where magical creatures are preserved in a museum, two teens find themselves caught in a web of intrigue, deception, and danger.  
Vespa Nyx wants nothing more than to spend the rest of her life cataloging Unnatural creatures in her father’s museum, but as she gets older, the requirement to become a lady and find a husband is looming large. Syrus Reed’s Tinker family has always served and revered the Unnaturals from afar, but when his family is captured to be refinery slaves, he finds that his fate may be bound up with Vespa’s—and with the Unnaturals. 
As the danger grows, Vespa and Syrus find themselves in a tightening web of deception and intrigue. At stake may be the fate of New London—and the world.
The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse
Simon and Schuster BFYR/7.10.12 Goodreads
A thought-provoking and exciting start to a riveting new dystopian trilogy.As an obedient orphan of the U.N.A. (the super-country that was once Mexico, the U.S., and Canada), Alenna learned at an early age to blend in and be quiet—having your parents taken by the police will do that to a girl. But Alenna can’t help but stand out when she fails a test that all sixteen-year-olds have to take: The test says she has a high capacity for brutal violence, and so she is sent to The Wheel, an island where all would-be criminals end up. The life expectancy of prisoners on The Wheel is just two years, but with dirty, violent, and chaotic conditions, the time seems a lot longer as Alenna is forced to deal with civil wars for land ownership and machines that snatch kids out of their makeshift homes. Desperate, she and the other prisoners concoct a potentially fatal plan to flee the island. Survival may seem impossible, but Alenna is determined to achieve it anyway.
Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
Razorbill/12.11.12 Goodreads
A deeply dramatic fantasy series that's Game of Thrones for teens. 
Sixteen-year-old Cleo has grown up in luxury, the royal heiress to a prosperous kingdom. But beneath her nation's seemingly peaceful surface lies dangerous unrest. Whispers of war are growing ever louder—intensified by a murderous incident for which Cleo's betrothed, Aron, is accused. 
Amidst the ongoing intrigue, Cleo has a more desperate mission. She defies her father's orders and sets off on a secret and perilous journey into a neighboring country, seeking a magic long thought to be mythical. If it's real, it could be the cure that heals her ailing sister. If it's only legend, Cleo will be stranded in a kingdom that has just declared war on her own. 
This sensational series debut melds intricate storylines with unforgettable characters and vibrantly imagined magic. Falling Kingdoms is ideal for fans of Kristin Cashore, Cinda Williams Chima, and George R.R. Martin.
What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang
HarperTeen/9.18.12 Goodreads
NEVER LET ME GO meets HIS DARK MATERIALS in a beautiful, haunting YA debut, the first book in The Hybrid Trilogy. 
Eva and Addie live in a world where everyone is born with two souls, but where only the dominant one is allowed to survive childhood. Fifteen years old, and closer even than twins, the girls are keeping Eva, the ‘second soul’, a secret. They know that it’s forbidden to be hybrid, but how could they ever be apart? 
When a dramatic event reveals what really happens to hybrids if they are discovered, Eva and Addie face a dangerous fight for survival, neither wanting to be the one left behind…

I've been asked to consider turning this feature into a weekly Thursday meme... Would anyone be interested in participating if I did this? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter (@thehidingspot)! 

Review: Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris + Giveaway

Two days before the start of her junior year, seventeen-year-old Janelle Tenner is hit by a pickup truck and killed—as in blinding light, scenes of her life flashing before her, and then nothing. Except the next thing she knows, she's opening her eyes to find Ben Michaels, a loner from her high school whom Janelle has never talked to, leaning over her. And even though it isn't possible, she knows—with every fiber of her being—that Ben has somehow brought her back to life.  
But her revival, and Ben's possible role in it, is only the first of the puzzles that Janelle must solve. While snooping in her FBI agent father's files for clues about her accident, she uncovers a clock that seems to be counting down to something—but to what? And when someone close to Janelle is killed, she can no longer deny what's right in front of her: Everything that's happened—the accident, the murder, the countdown clock, Ben's sudden appearance in her life—points to the end of life as she knows it. And as the clock ticks down, she realizes that if she wants to put a stop to the end of the world, she's going to need to uncover Ben's secrets—and keep from falling in love with him in the process.  
From debut author Elizabeth Norris comes this shattering novel of one girl's fight to save herself, her world, and the boy she never saw coming.

The cover and description of Unraveling are interesting enough that I had Elizabeth Norris' debut on my to-read list, but it was the book trailer released by Harper Teen that elicited the most excitement (and the undeniable need to read it). I was, understandably, pumped to find a copy of Unraveling in my mailbox, but I had no idea how seriously badass it would be.

I thought this novel was primarily a thriller and hadn't realized that it would have some solid  science fiction elements as well. I can't really tell you what I specifically loved about this book without some major spoilers, but holy macaroni is it fantastic. For now, I suppose you'll just have to take my word for it, but I seriously can't wait to see how people react to the twists and unique elements.

I will say, I'm not sure this idea is wholly original... There were a couple popular television shows with definite similarities that came to mind as I read. But, then again, many stories have similar plots. I would only have had a real issue with this if the rest of the novel (characters, dialogue, setting, etc) fell short, which wasn't the case.

The only aspect of the novel that I sometimes struggled with was the romance. I actually quite liked Ben and Janelle together, but I felt like Janelle fell for Ben a bit too quickly. Norris clearly explains Ben's feelings for Janelle, but sometimes I wondered if Janelle's main attraction for Ben was inspired by his strong feelings for her. Basically, he likes me so I like him. Not that Ben didn't deserve her attention... he so did.

I expected Unraveling to be good, but it exceeded my expectations by far. I can't wait to read more from Norris!

Balzer+Bray, HarperTeen, April 2012, Hardcover, ISBN: 9780062103733, 445 pages

Check out the book trailer: 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Review: Mister Death's Blue-Eyed Girls by Mary Downing Hahn

Based on an actual crime in 1955, this YA novel is at once a mystery and a coming-of-age story. The brutal murder of two teenage girls on the last day of Nora Cunningham's junior year in high school throws Nora into turmoil. Her certainties, friendships, religion, her prudence, her resolve to find a boyfriend taller than she is - are shaken or cast off altogether.  
Most people in Elmgrove, Maryland, share the comforting conviction that Buddy Novak, who had every reason to want his ex-girlfriend dead, is responsible for the killings. Nora agrees at first, then begins to doubt Buddy's guilt, and finally comes to believe him innocent - the lone dissenting voice in Elmgrove.  
Told from several different perspectives, including that of the murderer, Mister Death's Blue-Eyed Girls is a suspenseful page-turner with a powerful human drama at its core.

Mister Death's Blue-Eyed Girls started slow, but built in intensity as the novel progressed. Once I felt a connection to the different narrators and understood how they were each dealing with the murders, I had to know how everything ended up and if the murderer was ever caught.

This novel started with a nightmare and, being set in the 1950s, continued on almost sleepily. The novel's intensity was driven by the characters and their internal struggles more than external action. Fans of plot-driven novels might have a difficult time with the pacing of Mister Death.

I really loved the parts of the novel narrated by Nora, the one person who doesn't believe Buddy, the ex-boyfriend of one of the murdered girls, committed this horrible crime. She was so level-headed about the situation, even though it would have been way easier to pick a scapegoat and blame Buddy. 

After the murders, Nora begins to question her religion and the presence of God. I completely understood where Nora was coming from, but it was also easy to empathize with other characters, like her best friend, Ellie, who found herself a stronger believer afterwords. 

Even though it took me awhile to work my way through this novel, I'm glad I did. It was different than my normal reads and I found the character development and plot intriguing. If you're looking for a mysterious, character-driven novel, Mister Death's Blue-Eyed Girls is for you.

Clarion Books, April 2012, Hardcover, ISBN: 9780547760620, 328 pages