Friday, December 13, 2013

Mini-Rambles: Paranormal(ish) (Rachel)

Wake by Lisa McMann
From Goodreads:
For seventeen-year-old Janie, getting sucked into other people's dreams is getting old. Especially the falling dreams, the naked-but-nobody-notices dreams, and the sex-crazed dreams. Janie's seen enough fantasy booty to last her a lifetime.
She can't tell anybody about what she does they'd never believe her, or worse, they'd think she's a freak. So Janie lives on the fringe, cursed with an ability she doesn't want and can’t control.
Then she falls into a gruesome nightmare, one that chills her to the bone. For the first time, Janie is more than a witness to someone else's twisted psyche. She is a participant.

I read this book when I was in desperate need of a fun, fast-paced book that I could lose myself in, and that is exactly what Wake is. This is not the best book I have ever read, and I was not blown away by its awesomeness, but I enjoyed every second I spent reading this book. Wake is simply a good story. It pulls you in from the very first page, and it doesn't let you go until the last page. It's the perfect book to read in one sitting, because it's the kind of book you just don't want to put down. I had a lot of fun reading this book, and while I wouldn't say I'm all that emotionally invested in the story, I'm definitely excited to read the rest of the books in this series.

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke
From Goodreads:
You stop fearing the devil when you’re holding his hand…

Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White’s sleepy, seaside town… until River West comes along. River rents the guest house behind Violet’s crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard. 

Is River just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more?

Violet’s grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who takes naps in the sun, who likes coffee, who kisses you in a cemetery... who makes you want to kiss back. 

Violet’s already so knee-deep in love, she can’t see straight. And that’s just how River likes it.

Blending faded decadence and the thrilling dread of gothic horror, April Genevieve Tucholke weaves a dreamy, twisting contemporary romance, as gorgeously told as it is terrifying—a debut to watch.

The summary of this book, combined with the GORGEOUS cover, had me convinced that I would love Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. Unfortunately, that was not the case. I didn't love this book, but I wouldn't say I disliked it either. I'm somewhere in the middle, I guess. The beginning of this book is strong, and the ending is stronger, but I feel like the entire middle of the book lacks something. I was disappointed by the romance in this book, which suffers from a bad case of poorly-written insta-love. My least favorite thing about Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is the main character, Violet. She is...well, she reminds me of Bella Swan. Except possibly worse. Need I say more? There were things I did like about this book though, like the gorgeous and rich setting that I had no trouble imagining, and the devil twist. I think I would have really enjoyed this book if it had a different main character and no romance. Overall, this book disappointed me because I had such high hopes for it, but I had a good time reading it.

Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin
From Goodreads:
Welcome to Elsewhere. It is warm, with a breeze, and the beaches are marvelous. It’s quiet and peaceful. You can’t get sick or any older. Curious to see new paintings by Picasso? Swing by one of Elsewhere’s museums. Need to talk to someone about your problems? Stop by Marilyn Monroe’s psychiatric practice.

     Elsewhere is where fifteen-year-old Liz Hall ends up, after she has died. It is a place so like Earth, yet completely different. Here Liz will age backward from the day of her death until she becomes a baby again and returns to Earth. But Liz wants to turn sixteen, not fourteen again. She wants to get her driver’s license. She wants to graduate from high school and go to college. And now that she’s dead, Liz is being forced to live a life she doesn’t want with a grandmother she has only just met. And it is not going well. How can Liz let go of the only life she has ever known and embrace a new one? Is it possible that a life lived in reverse is no different from a life lived forward?
     This moving, often funny book about grief, death, and loss will stay with the reader long after the last page is turned.

Elsewhere is not nearly as amazing as I'd expected it to be, after hearing so many positive reviews of it, but it was still pretty darn awesome. I've read stories about the afterlife before, and I'd say that Elsewhere is probably the most unique one. The afterlife of Elsewhere is pretty much the same as Earth, except the people in Elsewhere age backwards. They start at the age they were when they died, and get a year younger every birthday. When they're babies, they go back to Earth to be reborn. It's a really cool and original idea of the afterlife, and I found this book to be fascinating. Elsewhere has humor and sadness and drama and hope, and it is a moving story that I really enjoyed.

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