Friday, June 21, 2013

Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher

Jay Asher's debut novel was brilliantly conceived. I can't say enough good things about the idea of having a teen boy (Clay) listening to the last thoughts of a girl (Hannah) who, by the opening of the novel, has already killed herself. Like Clay, we can't wait to find out how different people and events contributed to Hannah's decision. The book is hard to put down. In the beginning, the use of audio tapes threw me off, because I couldn't imagine how a twenty-first-century teen would have access to such an outmoded form of technology. Nor did I have confidence that the subsequent teens in the tapes would have access to a machine they could use to listen to them. Asher gets around this by having Tony's story, which I won't divulge here, but it still required a leap of faith on my part. The language of Hannah and Clay compensated for my leap of faith, pulling me into realistic teen drama, teen thoughts, and teen emotions. There was never a moment while reading from either Hannah or Clay's points of view that I didn't hear and imagine a real teen. In spite of the realness of the teen voices, I still didn't always get a full sense of the characters, which took something away from the ending, since I couldn't recall Skye. Although I appreciated this clear sign that Clay had indeed been transformed by the tapes, I still would have liked more. I was disappointed not to see Clay encounter the others in the tapes. Over all, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and recommend it to everyone, teens and adults alike.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Infernal Devices, by Cassandra Clare

When a seventeen-year-old Tessa leaves New York to find her older brother in London after their aunt dies, she's abducted by the dark sisters and tortured into learning about a power she never knew she had. Little does she know that a terrifying mastermind plans to use her power to destroy the entire race of Shadow Hunters, known as the Nephilim. I absolutely loved this trilogy. The setting, the plot, the narrative style, and the characters were brilliantly done. I especially loved the characters, which were amazingly distinct despite a large cast. My favorite characters were Tessa, Will, and Jem. They were all three so good, that you couldn't help but love them. All three books also continued to add new twists and turns to the story. Even the Epilogue of the last book has a surprising twist, and I loved it! I highly recommend this series to young and old alike.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Audiobook Giveaway!

To celebrate the release of the audiobook edition of The Gatekeeper's Sons, I'm running a giveaway. Enter to win a $20 Itunes giftcard, a $30 Amazon giftcard, and a free copy of the audiobook! The giveaway ends in one week, on June 17th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway